Pat Toomey Visits McKean County

WESB/WBRR News Director

Former Congressman and current US Senate candidate Pat Toomey is making a swing through McKean County today.

"I want to learn as much as I can about the county – what's important here and what's important to the future of northern Pennsylvania and northwestern Pennsylvania," said the Republican from Zionsville.

Toomey spent some time at Zippo Manufacturing Company in Bradford and the McKean County Courthouse in Smethport.

Earlier this year, speculation was running rampant on whether Toomey would challenge Senator Arlen Specter for his Senate seat.

Now that Specter has switched from the Republican to the Democratic party, Toomey's challenger in the primary will be Peg Luksik of Johnstown. Congressman Joe Sestak is challenging Specter.

Toomey said he made the final decision to run because of the direction the government in Washington began to take.

"They're doing things that are not good for Pennsylvania, not good for our economy, not good for our future," he said.

He mentioned bailouts of failing companies, a staggering amount of government spending, an unsustainable amount of debt and "an effort for the government to take over health care."

He said he believes he can be "a voice of reason and balance in Washington – to remind the Senate and the government that jobs and growth and a better standard of living comes from free enterprise. It comes from people who get up everyday and go to work and actually make things and provide services that we need."

"It doesn't come from government just growing and borrowing and spending to oblivion," he said.

As for the current senator, Toomey said he was "shocked when Senator Specter switched parties, because he had just finished spending several months crisscrossing Pennsylvania saying he never would."

He said Specter was very specific on how important it was to keep 41 Republican senators in Washington so the GOP could "keep a seat at the table."

"Then he took one look at a poll that showed he couldn't win a Republican primary and couldn't be one of those 41 Republican senators anymore, so he switched and joined the other side," Toomey said.

Toomey said Specter's switch should have voters asking "Does this man stand for anything other than his own personal political fortunes?"

Toomey said he will be back in McKean County "before too long."

Pat Toomey at WESB/WBRR

I interviewed Sestak in August.


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