2013-02-21 / Front Page

Local Democrats React to Smith’s Announcement

By Rick Hiduk

While some in attendance at the Weigh Station in Towanda were genuinely surprised by Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith’s Feb. 21 announcement of his candidacy for Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania, others indicated that Smith had confided in them in the days leading up to the Thursday afternoon press conference. Either way, those who offered comments about Smith’s decision were excited with the prospect of having a representative from the Endless Mountains serving in Harrisburg, second in command to the Governor.

“It’s a big step,” said Sugar Run business owner David Buck, who suggested that he thought that maybe Smith was going to announce a run for the state congress or senate. Buck was particularly impressed by Smith’s pledge to pursue responsible energy policies while providing protection for the environment. Buck owns Endless Mountain Outfitters, and his business depends on the bucolic and pristine resources that draw recreationists to the Susquehanna River.

Greater Wyalusing Chamber of Commerce President Carol Goodman recalled that she had met Smith during a bus trip to Washington, D.C. “I was taken by what an intelligent man he was,” she remarked. Soon thereafter, he announced that he was running for his first term as county commissioner, and Goodman became an instant supporter.

“I know him to be honorable, honest and charismatic,” she stated. “He’ll do a lot for Pennsylvania, and he’ll do a lot to keep Bradford County in the forefront.”

“When he announced that he was running for commissioner, I thought that was a long stretch,” Buck related. “But, he’s done a good job and he’s got the appeal to go all the way.”

Former Bradford County Commissioner John Sullivan noted that Smith contacted him prior to making the announcement on Thursday. “He had his mind made up. He asked me for my help, but he didn’t have to ask,” said Sullivan, who served with Smith at the courthouse in Towanda for four years. “He’s got the ambition and the qualities to do anything that he wants. I wish him the best. He’s good for the area.”

Buck suggested that Smith’s appeal should cross party lines, as he has been an outspoken and responsible advocate for all of Bradford County’s citizens. “All people in the area should support him,” Buck asserted. “Somebody strong from the area like him could help us all.”

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