"I am a businessman and that's what we need more of in government"
As a lifetime member and past fire chief of the Marion Center Fire Department, I still pay
attention to who is running for office even though I no longer live in the district.
Brian Smith, a candidate for PA State Representative, is one of those hometown guys from the Marion Center area, who I have been watching take leadership roles so vital to all of District #66, northern Indiana and all of Jefferson Counties.
Brian has been a fixture in the Punxsutawney area for a long time. Having started and continues
to run three businesses, served on the borough council, Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club, he is the perfect hands-on guy with the knowledge to pick up where State Representative Cris Dush leaves off.
Brian knows the importance of supporting the local volunteer fire companies throughout the district and the personnel and fiscal problems they face every day. As an NRA lifetime member, he is on top of the hot topics of red flag laws and the Second Amendment movement.
But what I like best about Brian is that he is not a politician nor is he a person to use his position to gain rewards or notoriety. He is humble and works hard to do a job because he cares about his district and he cares about the families who live there.
Whoever wins the Primary vote is the WINNER for the State Representative seat. Remember to vote in the Primary on June 2 because Brian is one of two Republicans vying for this seat.
There is no Democrat challenging this seat. Your Primary vote is critical! Vote in person, absentee ballot or the new mail-in ballot.
By Rick McKee Indiana, PA
Jamie Sherry of Punxsutawney served on Borough Council with Brian Smith. Jamie knows first hand how Brian will make a difference as your State Representative.
Every year I try to convince myself that I am not going to care who wins or loses in our local elections. Then COVID happened. I’m reminded of what former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani said “Who we select for major public offices is a matter of life and death.”
I served on Punxsutawney Borough Council for 6 years. It’s a very thankless, time consuming and stressful job; BUT you are making decisions that greatly impact your community.
In 2014 we welcomed a new member to our panel. I didn’t know what to think about him at first. He didn’t say too much during meetings but what I did notice is that he LISTENED; to every single member of the community who took the podium, to every organization or agency that wanted to raise awareness and to every employee that approached him with a concern.
He was not a YES MAN. There were times that he voted with the majority and times he voted with the minority but his votes were based on conversations he had with his constituents. When he became President of Council in 2016, he did something that we had not seen in years; he united the panel. He listened to every side and examined every concern. He made decisions that weren’t necessarily favorable to some but would turn out to be incredibly beneficial to our community.
In 2016 he also suffered the greatest loss any man could possibly imagine, the loss of his 18 year-old son. Most people would have given up on life, but he didn’t. This loss empowered him to start focusing on the YOUTH in our community; directing them away from drugs and alcohol and towards a better future. His war on drugs will continue when we send him to Harrisburg.
During our time on council, we were part of contract negotiations with both the Police Department and Public Works. This was new territory for both of us, but he took the reins and secured contracts with both departments in record time. These negotiations usually end up in arbitration and his goal was to make sure that didn’t happen. He was fair and he was fiscally responsible. The last thing anyone wants to do is raise taxes and he worked with every department to make sure that didn’t happen under his watch.
We are in a crucial time. As President Trump says, “We are at war with an invisible enemy.” This week I was up in the air about who I had planned to support to fill Cris Dush’s seat for PA State Representative. I actually like both candidates.
But there is one candidate that did something the other did not do: answered my questions without hesitation and without sounding like a politician. That candidate is BRIAN SMITH of Punxsutawney and he has our VOTE!
Before you head to the polls on June 2, please do what I did. Ask questions and research each candidate and who they will align themselves with. The fight in Harrisburg will not end with Cris Dush’s term. We are going to need people in Harrisburg to dig us out of this financial crisis the Governor is putting us in.
BRIAN SMITH IS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.
Jaime Sherry, Punxsutawney resident
Vicki Mills of Home, PA has met both candidates and considers Brian Smith to be a great choice. Vicki is telling the story of how she and her husband decided who to vote for.
I definitely agree with the reasoning that we need legislators who can work across the aisle, but my feeling is that they do that once they get to Harrisburg. We want to be sure that the candidate we send to Harrisburg for State House of Representative in District #66 is representing our Republican values 100% and not guided by Democrats on his campaign team.
My husband and I attended the Pretzels and Petitions signing event at The Rustic Lodge on Feb. 10, where we met Brian Smith and Jack Matson. We didn’t really get a chance to talk to either candidate much, so we attended Jack Matson’s Meet and Greet on Feb. 12 at Rayne Drop Inn. Mr. Matson talked about himself and his work experience, but not once did he talk about the issues he supported or ask what was important to us. I found that rather strange.
On Feb. 18, we attended the Meet the Candidates Night at the Punxsutawney Country Club sponsored by the Chambers of Commerce of Punxsutawney, Brookville, Brockway, DuBois, and Indiana. It was there, with about 125 people in attendance, Mr. Matson proudly announced that he had Democrats on his campaign committee.
That was also the first time we got a chance to listen to and really talk to Brian Smith. He was not afraid to tackle the questions asked of him. When asked the question about the ‘red flag gun confiscation laws’, he was quite knowledgeable, while Mr. Matson had to be informed about what it was.
Brian Smith talked about the need for fiscal management and accountability from our state government, the challenges facing small businesses like his trucking company, and his leadership in volunteer roles to help the community.
You, the voter, have to decide if you want a sitting politician with a marketing background or a small businessman like Brian Smith with an accounting background who is tuned into the issues of our district. Don’t let your vote be bought. June 2 is election day. Go in person to vote if you can, or order your absentee ballot or new mail-in ballot by going to VotesPA.com. Or you can call the Indiana County Voter Registration office at 724-465-3852.
Written by Vicki Mills of Home, PA
Gene Saucier, Grant Twp., Indiana County says, "Brian Smith is Always Down to Earth and Always Ready to Help & One has to Look at the Soul of the Man and How He Treats Others."
When I heard that Brian Smith, formerly of the Marion Center area, was running for the state representative seat in District 66, I knew he was the guy I was voting for.
In 2005 when my wife and I moved to the Grant Township area, I needed to find work after retiring from Fort Dix, N.J. Our new (circa 1860) home needed many updates and I knew my retirement pay would not cover the extra expenses.
Fastrak Trucking Company in Reynoldsville, owned by brothers Brian and Greg Smith, hired me and trusted me with their equipment. Most of my driving had been Army equipment and not over-the-road civilian trucks. To start, I was not the model worker, but they had confidence in me. They took time to give me instructions, threw the keys at me and I was on my way. Well, not knowing Pennsylvania roads, I got lost at times and called back to Fastrak for help. Brian remained calm and gave good directions. I remember one winter I left the company driveway and slid in the ditch. It was snowing so hard I could not get out. For a couple hours I blocked the whole road with the trailer. Through traffic had to drive through the company grounds and around the truck.
I just knew I was going to be fired. But to my surprise, Brian was calm while he said, “just keep traffic moving around the truck.” Brian was a good person to work for, always down to earth and always ready to help others. What’s more, Brian was always giving back to his community and helping underprivileged kids by heading up many special programs in the Punxsutawney Rotary Club.
I admire him for his stand as a pro-life man. Personally, he knows how precious the life of a child is.
I believe when choosing a state representative, one has to look at the soul of the man and how he treats others. There is no doubt Brian will be the public servant that Cris Dush has been. Brian is not a politician. For that reason, Brian Smith gets my vote for District 66.
By Gene Saucier, Grant Twp.,, PA
Russell Lippert, Marion Center, PA wants voters to know a very important fact - "We need a state representative of the people not politicians who think winning the state representative seat is a life-long career, a good salary with perks, and an even better retirement."
Even though I’ve lived in the Marion Center area most of my life, I did not know Brian Smith, candidate for PA State Representative District #66 Northern Indiana and Jefferson counties. Last Saturday, I called him, and we talked for an hour. The first question I had for him was: Are you any relation to Sam Smith from Punxsy, former Speaker of the House, to which he said no. That was good in my book.
Brian Smith is a straight shooter and knowledgeable about the Constitution, our Second Amendment rights, and what’s been going on in our state legislature. He’s down to earth and easy to talk with just like our current State Representative Cris Dush. Cris Dush and Brian Smith are very much alike in the way they treat people with respect and they genuinely listen to what you have to say. Brian Smith is running because he loves this area and the opportunities that it has given him and his family.
We need a state representative of the people not politicians who think winning the state representative seat is a life-long career, a good salary with perks, and an even better retirement. Cris Dush was a breath of fresh air when he got elected and so is Brian Smith.
As a businessman sharp on accounting and business skills, a love for this state and its people, we cannot go wrong voting for this non-politician guy as our next PA State Representative on June 2. Check him out for yourself. Go in person to vote if you can because I think your vote is more protected. But if you can’t, get an absentee or mail-in ballot by calling voter registration at the Courthouse.
Russell Lippert, Marion Center, PA
Tom Chelgren of Young Township, Jefferson County hopes you take time to compare candidates and feels certain doing so will make all the difference in the world to choose Brian Smith.
Making an informed decision for State Representative in the 66th Pennsylvania District is critical. While the two candidates vying to represent Jefferson and Indiana Counties in the 2020 Republican primary may seem similar, taking time to see the very distinct differences, certainly will change your mind.
Signs that announce “VOTE FOR” can be misleading, or possibly what I mean to say is, simply having more signs for name recognition doesn’t tell you one thing about the candidate. That misleading - but tried and true method is only hoping to capture your attention so that on election day, it’s the name that pops in your memory first.
However, there isn’t much a sign tells you, or for that matter those dinnertime Robo spam election calls, or stuffing a mailbox with glossy attention getters you quickly throw away.
After assessing both individuals, speaking to both, and looking at their campaign positions, it is interesting to note how open, genuine and forthcoming Brian Smith has been. Brian Smith makes you feel comfortable to know, he really “gets it.”
An example. When is the last time you saw a website list a candidate’s personal cell phone number and then mention, “Call Me” or go on to say, I want you to know who I am and what I stand for - before you vote for me? When is the last time you saw this offer and when is the last time a politician ever gave you that impression?
I’d suggest you do just that. Call Brian Smith. Pick up you phone. Dial his number at 814-591-5244. You will not be disappointed!
To close, here is what I understand and believe. What makes Brian Smith a person’s choice? Simply put the traits you’d expect in a public servant but rarely see. Honesty, sincerity, the ability to listen and actually “hear” and be concerned for what you want him to know is important in your life! Add in a strong leader with the skill to influence others by presenting solid supporting points necessary for informed decision making. All this is just the tip of the iceberg.
What about commitment to the community? For years, Brian Smith has gotten his hands dirty helping our area. Just look at his track record of volunteer activities and hours of assisting others. Never looking for or expecting any accolades, only the satisfaction of making some other person’s life better. It tells you so much about the man that he is.
Next for Brian Smith is his ability to openly make you feel comfortable. I’m sure you understand. You’ve been near this type of person. That unspoken “Command Presence” that tells you a person can take charge and get the hard work accomplished.
But maybe the strongest argument goes to Brian’s determination to serve each and every resident of the 66th District the way it should be. This is rural Pennsylvania and all too often our values, our thoughts, our interests are overlooked. Brian will make sure YOUR voices are heard in Harrisburg.
When you look past the campaign signs along the highway – Forget the name recognition game and remember BRIAN SMITH is the obvious and hands down choice to serve us, the residents of the 66th District in Harrisburg. Better yet, take a few moments of time to call him today!
Rick Nesbitt, Bell Township, Punxsutawney, feels an important trait about Brian Smith is: "A problem solver who sees potential" in the 66th District.
I was very pleased to hear Brian Smith was running for State Representative of the 66th District. I have gotten to know Brian by working together over the past 20 years or so. Before we actually met, I knew of him as an entrepreneur and a man who loved his community and worked hard to make it a better place. As a company owner myself, I know how difficult it is to start a business. Brian has started three successful businesses and helped his wife to establish a large and successful daycare center.
In addition, Brian has continually volunteered in many capacities. Brian has been a Rotarian for 14 years and served as Club President. He is their current Treasurer. Being in Rotary has allowed me to see his desire to help and volunteer where needed. Just before the current Corona virus changed everything, I asked him why he was running for State Representative. His reply was exactly what I expected – “I love our community and area, and want to do all I can to help improve it and grow.”
I’ve also worked with him at the (Punxsutawney) Chamber of Commerce, of which he was a member for 9 years. Brian held the office of Vice President and had the lead in a number of projects.
He was also elected to Punxsutawney Borough Council and elected President in 2016.
Brian is not a politician; he is a businessman and leader. He is a problem solver, a man of his word, a student of history, an outdoors-man who sees potential in our area. Brian also is pro-life, pro-family and a man who wants to help our youth to be the best they can be; to be educated with skills to obtain and hold a good job and stay in our area. As a student of finance, he is well equipped to monitor the state budget which is of special interest to him.
On a very personal note, in 2016, we both experienced devastating family tragedies. Brian 17-year-old son, Josh, passed away and a month later, my 16-year-old granddaughter Kally, died in a car accident. Josh and Kally were good friends. As a result, Brian and his wife-built Josh’s Memorial Community Playground. We are privileged to be able to build a memorial tennis court in Kally’s name next to the playground. In these past four years, I have gotten to really know what a good person Brian is. I am pleased to call him my friend and to endorse him for this new challenge that I know he is ready to accept. He will be an excellent State Representative.
Rich Nesbitt, Bell Twp., Punxsutawney, Jefferson County