by Jonathan Weaver
Armstrong County may become a battle community in the U.S Senate race this November, and incumbent Senator Pat Toomey prepared for it last week.
Toomey parked his campaign bus in front of Worthington-West Franklin Fire Hall Friday morning and spoke with more than two dozen Republican supporters as part of his “Keep PA Safe” bus tour.
Toomey exclusively told the Kittanning Paper Armstrong County is key based on its fundamental rural Pennsylvania qualities.
“It’s an important county – there’s a big potential swing and I want to be here personally to hear directly from people
During the hour campaign stop, Toomey – who first introduced his six-year-old son, Duncan, wife, Kris and teenage daughter, Bridget – reached out to voters by not focusing on economics but giving three security issues he and opponent Katie McGinty disagree on – including what he considered a “disastrous” and “unbelievably bad” Iran nuclear deal Clinton helped negotiate last summer.
“Katie McGinty just doesn’t get the kind of threats that we face, and what we need to do in response to it,” Toomey said. “If the Iranians have supposedly given up their nuclear weapons pursuit, why are they spending millions of dollars and spending so much time and energy developing the ability to deliver nuclear weapons? Katie McGinty, she’s still all for this deal – despite all the violations.
“It goes from terrible to even worse, and still Katie McGinty’s still all for it.”
Toomey also provided an example based on U.S. President Barack Obama’s release of 15 Guantanamo Bay inmates – contending that inmates will only restart attacking Americans.
“(President Obama) wants to close down Gitmo altogether – and Katie McGinty applauds that,” Toomey said.
Toomey last vouched for an end to sanctuary cities – a notion the audience applauded since Toomey said an example of a sanctuary city includes Philadelphia and proposed legislation against it.
“I’m going to bring this up again and again and again until we end this madness of sanctuary cities,” Toomey said. “We’ll win this eventually.”
Toomey spoke for about 15 minutes before answering a few audience questions regarding the Second Amendment, the War on Coal and posed by Helen Kaufman, of Kittanning, regarding Wall Street.
Kaufman said Toomey secured her vote this November based on his honesty.
Senator Toomey was introduced by County Commissioner Jason Renshaw – who was informed of the stop by Republican Committee Chair Mike Baker.
Commissioner Renshaw said Toomey will receive his vote in November, but that the incumbent needs to continue reaching out in small communities.
Toomey committed to campaign hard this Fall but also asked for voters to personal campaign through family and friends.
Baker – who has known the incumbent for about 10 years and was impressed by his enthusiasm – said the county Republican Committee did not have to pay for Toomey’s campaign stop.
After his bus left at about 10:45AM, Toomey was en route to Venango, Warren and Erie counties.
Toomey was last in Armstrong County during a roundtable discussion with the Alle-Kiski Chamber in October 2014.