Pennsylvania Republican Senate Candidate Pat Toomey made a surprise stop at two local businesses in Tamaqua on Monday during his first of a four day journey through 21 counties. Despite rainy weather, local supporters, State Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Schuylkill), and media were all on hand to greet Toomey as he stepped out of his campaign RV to walk through downtown Tamaqua.
A few protestors also greeted Toomey with a green "Wall Street" sign as he pulled into Tamaqua in his campaign-decorated RV.
Toomey, also traveling with his wife, Kris, and three children, Bridget, 10, Patrick Jr, 9, and Duncan, 3 months, chose to stop at M & S Hardware on West Broad Street as their first of two stops in Tamaqua. The larger amount of supporters overshadowed the few protestors that followed behind with signs and asking if Toomey still supported privatization of Social Security. While in M & S Hardware in Tamaqua, Toomey spent about 20 minutes talking one on one with owners Todd and Trevor Miller. Todd Miller told Toomey that he wanted to see changes as well as new people in office.
The second stop in Tamaqua was at the La Dolce Casa Restaurant on West Broad Street in downtown Tamaqua. While there, Toomey talked with owner Alfonso Picone and employees for about 20 minutes. One of the employees pointed out that it was calm one minute and then the restaurant was filled completely with cameras and people.
Previously, during a speech to the Pennsylvania Press Club in Harrisburg, Toomey pointed out that the state had lost 71,700 jobs since the $787 billion federal stimulus was approved in the beginning of 2009. "That bill was supposed to reduce the national unemployment rate to below 8 percent", he said.
During Toomey's first day of his tour in Lebanon Valley, he told a crowd of supporters that Democrats would turn the United States into a European welfare state. He also defended his fiscally conservative economic platform at a luncheon in Harrisburg.
One supporter in tow stated, "Even though Toomey has been traveling Pennsylvania for months campaigning, this week's four-day tour should has a formal introduction effect." Toomey's website states, "When Pat left the financial sector in 1990, he and his brothers started a successful, family-owned restaurant business with several Pennsylvania locations. In 1997, after nearly 10 years as a small business owner, Pat grew weary of the huge tax burdens imposed on Pennsylvania's small businesses. So he acted.
Toomey ran and won a seat representing Pennsylvania's 15th Congressional District in Washington for three consecutive terms. In office, Toomey was one of Congress's leading advocates for limited government and personal freedom.
He led efforts to expand tax cuts and reduce wasteful spending. And because of his exemplary leadership on the economic front, he received top scores from national fiscal watchdog groups such as Citizens Against Government Waste, Americans for Tax Reform, the National Taxpayers Union, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Most recently, Toomney served as president of the limited government, free-enterprise advocacy organization, The Club for Growth. Toomey lives in Zionsville with his wife Kris and their three children." On Monday, Toomey stopped in Schuylkill, Berks, and Monroe counties.