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2013-02-21 / Front Page

Commissioner Mark Smith Announces Candidacy for Lt. Governor

By Rick Hiduk

Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith, at microphone, announces his candidacy for PA Lt. Governor Tuesday afternoon at the Weigh Station Restaurant in Towanda. Photo by Rick Hiduk
Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith, at microphone, announces his candidacy for PA Lt. Governor Tuesday afternoon at the Weigh Station Restaurant in Towanda. Photo by Rick Hiduk

Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith announced his candidacy today for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. More than 100 supporters, including many fellow Democrats and members of the Bradford County Democratic Committee crowded the main room of the Weigh Station in Towanda to hear Smith outline the reasons behind his decision to run for state office.

Smith, who is currently in his second term as a commissioner, was quick to note the novelty of entering the race for Lieutenant Governor from such an “unlikely place.”

“Bradford County is not a place that turns out political juggernauts or carries the heaviest weight of political influence,” he stated. “It is, however, the home of strong and hard-working Pennsylvanians.

“The work ethic that we learn here can be found in every corner of Pennsylvania,” Smith continued. “It is the same work ethic that I will bring to this campaign and to the office of Lieutenant Governor.”

Smith accused the current administration of inflicting its will on Pennsylvania by waging war on education and ignoring infrastructure. He indicated that the office of Lieutenant Governor should be much more than that of a figurehead.

“It’s time to rewrite the job description of the Lieutenant Governor so it meets the needs of the people and Pennsylvania’s future,” he said. “As Lieutenant Governor, I will work relentlessly as a public advocate to give a voice to those people and communities that are all too often left behind by the bureaucracy of Harrisburg.”

As the state and the nation wrestle with the pros and cons of gun control and the freedom from which that is entrenched in our nation’s history, Smith admitted that, as a hunter in his youth, he learned the responsibility of gun ownership along with everybody else. “We hold that heritage in high regard,” he asserted.

Nonetheless, he stated, “I will not use our heritage in vain, as a reason or an excuse for inaction on the gun issue.” He pledged to pursue the passage of common sense gun laws that would require stronger background checks and limitations on the sales of military-style assault rifles in order to protect the innocent, while retaining the “sanctity of the second amendment.”

One of his primary goals in the course of his candidacy, he explained, was to give people in the Marcellus shale region a greater voice in the development of policies that would guarantee responsible access to fuel resources while still protecting nature and the wellbeing of local citizens. He chastised the Corbett administration for creating a Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission with no members from the region in which the most drilling was being done.

“Instead, he appointed a billionaire living in Florida,” Smith said of Gov. Tom Corbett. “It was just one more example of how this administration is out of touch.”

Smith asserted that progressive ideals are not solely the product of leaders of metropolitan areas, who are not above sacrificing the environment for political expediency.

“The progressive ideals can be found in our smallest towns and our biggest cities. Our circumstances sometimes vary, but we should be united in our resolve and in the veracity with which we seek out better solutions for a better tomorrow.”

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I take my previous comment

I take my previous comment back. I see you are engaged to the PR Person from Chesapeake Energy. That's too big of a conflict of interest to consider that you will tough on the gas industry. Any other Democratic candidates out there?

Mark, If you help Max Chilson

Mark, If you help Max Chilson get clean water and fight to make the gas industry and the DEP accountable for their promises, you may get my support. Here is Max's story. He contacted Yaw, Pickett, you and the other commissioners and no one helped him out. I would expect that from Republicans, but not from a Democrat. http://youtu.be/JyBiRPAMEkI

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