This week, 3rd District candidates Ed Franz, 48, Conneautville, and Paul Huber, 65, Meadville, visited Grove City to meet and greet the locals.GOP-leaning? Heh. Grove City is THE conservative stronghold of Pennsylvania.
Whether to announce a campaign or to shake hands with groups of a dozen or fewer, nearly all the Republican candidates have made an appearance in Mercer County, most at least once in the GOP-leaning college town of Grove City.
Huber, who said he has been in the race longer than most of his opponents, presented a meaty jobs address to employees and businessmen at George J. Howe Co., Grove City. He talked about extending tax cuts and tinkering with the tax code to make it friendly to small businesses, among other proposals.Uh, oh...
He also addressed concerns over the fact that he’d been a registered Democrat as recently as spring 2009. He said passage of the stimulus bill, on top of the prior bank bailouts, drove him to re-register as a Republican. He added that he has supported many Republican candidates, and described himself as a fiscal and social conservative.
Now, it's possible that Huber had a "come-to-Reagan" moment. After all, Reagan was a Dem who famously claimed that the party left him. But if it took the stimulus to realize he was a Republican, then he must have an insane amount of liberal "tolerance" in his system. Ugh.
Ed Franz, meanwhile, popped in to Beans on Broad, also in Grove City, on Tuesday and spoke to a crowd of Grove City College professors and local conservatives.Uh, oh...
An hourly worker at the General Electric plant in Erie, Franz is also a veteran volunteer campaigner who has worked on a number of campaigns for Republicans.
His concerns, he said, include the high national debt and poor economy. Like Huber, he also recommended extending tax cuts and passing a balanced budget amendment.
In all, nearly every Republican candidate has expressed concern with the national debt and economy, proposing remedies in the conservative vein: tax cuts to spur economic growth and reduced government spending.
I'm far more of a grassroots guy instead of a "campaign" guy. I have heard some good thing about Franz, but I haven't talked to the guy yet. I have heard that he's worked on campaigns for Santorum (uh, oh!) and English (UH, OH!). Working to elect fiscal RINOs doesn't look good on any resume when people are sick of overspending.
Besides Franz and Huber, other candidates who have announced include: Steven M. Fisher, 52, Cochranton, a health insurance salesman; Dr. Tom Trevorrow, an Erie ophthalmologist; Clayton W. Grabb, 47, Butler, a pharmaceutical salesman; Mike Kelly, 61, Butler, a car dealership owner; and Donna Reese, an Erie small businesswoman.
Petitions have not yet been circulated or even returned, and there is also time for more candidates to announce. There could be more or fewer candidates by the time the May ballot is finalized.
Here's to hoping for an open primary chock full of info!