Steve Welch is going on the attack in Pennsylvania’s Republican U.S. Senate primary, launching a television ad that portrays leading rival Tom Smith as a fake Republican with the aid of an Elvis impersonator.
“Not only was Tom Smith a registered Democrat for 42-years, but as an elected Democratic official he raised taxes on his constituents 9 different times,” said Peter Towey, Welch campaign manager. “Plain and simple: Conservatives don’t raise taxes on their constituents. This new ad enlightens Republican voters to a liberal past that Tom Smith is desperately trying to keep secret.”
The past Democratic allegiances of both candidates have been points of contention in the six-candidate race, in which polls show a majority of likely GOP voters don’t know much about the contenders.
Smith, a former coal company owner and farmer from southwest Pennsylvania, has been a Democratic committeeman in Armstrong County and voted in 19 Democratic primaries. He was a member of his township board and as such voted for some property tax increases. Yet Smith has been a donor to conservative causes and an active member of the tea party movement; he has been endorsed by the Independence Hall Tea Party PAC in the GOP race.