PA-9: Tom Smith Considers Primary Bid Against Shuster

Tom-SmithThe news keeps getting worse for Congressman Bill Shuster.

Last week, it was revealed he was in a relationship with an airline lobbyist. Not exactly the best position to be in when you’re the Chair of the House Transportation Committee.

Now, it appears he could have a very well-funded primary opponent.

According to Scott Wong of The Hill, businessman and former 2012 GOP Senate nominee Tom Smith is considering a run in the 9th district.

“Tom Smith is seriously thinking about running against Bill Shuster,” said Julie Anderson, a Smith supporter who also is an employee at his trucking business. “He’s been concerned about the debt for quite a while now, and his big concerns are his kids and grandkids. He feels [the debt] is not being properly taken care of.”

The most dangerous aspect of this revelation for Shuster is that Smith is a multimillionaire who could give significant funds to his campaign like he did in 2012.

While Smith ultimately lost to Casey by a 54%-45% margin, a congressional primary would be a completely different ball game.

Smith and Shuster would be playing to a much smaller and more conservative electorate than they would be in a statewide general election race. The district is rated R+14 by the Cook Political Report.

Last year, two primary challengers took a significant chunk of the vote in a contest with Shuster. In fact one of them, real estate investor Art Halvorson, has already expressed support for Smith.

“I will support him 100 percent,” Halvorson told The Hill.

Last February, Smith wrote an op-ed for the Indiana Gazette saying he would no longer donate money to Shuster.

Therefore, Smith’s conversion was not spurred by the news that the Congressman is dating a lobbyist. Still, in a country in which Washington D.C. is extremely unpopular, that sort of story couldn’t have hurt Smith’s ambitions.

Update: Politico has just published another piece on the work Rep. Shuster did last year on a bill being pushed by the group his now-girlfriend works for.

20 Responses

  1. Issac, PA’s roads and bridges are consistently rated as some of the worst in the nation. Based on results, having the Shusters run transportation has not been particularly good for us.

  2. Like father like son. His father had a long-term relationship with a lobbyist so now the son follows. Bill Shuster was never qualified to be a Congressman from the very start. He should go back to selling cars. I don’t know any individuals who would buy from him, but maybe the special interests could buy fleet cars from him. Throw in all the early commercials about family values while all the time in Washington Shuster has chased women it equals out to an incompetent and morally deficient man as this district’s Representative. Tom Smith would bring integrity to this House Seat.

  3. I shudder to think what the roads would be like if we lost that seat. I’m no Shuster fan, but I watched Tom Smith talk about how he’d put Medicare on the chopping block and I imagine that won’t sit well with the many aging voters in the district.

  4. It’s way past time for a US Congress with no SHUSTER’s in it. The 9th district missed it’s chance years ago when they didn’t elect the Del Grosso from Tyrone.

  5. Not that it matters, of course, but Smith doesn’t live in the district. He lives in the 3rd.

  6. Time for the special interests to back the dump-truck up for Shuster’s re-elect, like they did in 2012.

  7. This is huge!

    It is reminiscent of the Scott Wagner insurgency.

    And it is consistent with the populism that would infuse a quality GOP-POTUS initiative [e.g., Cruz, my bias].

  8. Just save yourself the embarrassment and don’t run again, Bill. And if you try your usual personal attack campaign strategy, all Tom Smith will have to do is roll out the footage of you telling everyone what a good Senator he’d make back in 2012.

  9. The only question remaining now is will Tom ask Boehner for an office in Dirksen, or Hart.

  10. Any bad day for Shuster is typically a good day for his constituents. Time to toss this corrupt man out.

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