They are among five Republicans seeking their party’s nomination in the April 24 primary. The winner will likely face U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, in the Nov. 6 election.
Welch accused Smith, who portrays himself as a conservative founder of a tea party group, of raising taxes nine times as a former Plumcreek Township supervisor in Armstrong County.
The online PoliticsPA has reported that Smith did raise taxes, but not by a large dollar amount.
Both candidates go before the voters as former Democrats, an issue that might not sit well with the conservative base.
Welch has said he was briefly disenchanted with the party for losing its way over higher spending, while Smith has said he’s always been conservative regardless of party.
Welch held a news conference today at General Exterminating, a business co-owned by Millcreek resident Donna Reese.
Welch is calling his rival “Taxin’ Tom Smith.”
It could be an interesting run-up to the primary.
– John Guerriero