Candidates: Bob Casey, Democrat; Tom Smith, Republican; Rayburn Smith, Libertarian
Mr. Casey, 52, of Scranton (left), is seeking his second term in the Senate, having handily defeated incumbent Republican Rick Santorum for the seat six years ago. He previously served as state auditor general and state treasurer. He ran for governor in 2002 but was defeated in the primary by Ed Rendell, who went on to win the general election. He previously practiced law in Scranton and taught fifth grade at the Gesu School in Philadelphia. Mr. Casey attended Scranton Preparatory School, the College of the Holy Cross and Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America. He is of eight children of former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob and Ellen Casey. The senator his and his wife Terese Foppiano Casey have four daughters.
Mr. Smith, 64, (right) operates a farm on land he grew up on in Schelocta, a small community in Armstrong County. He is the former owner of a coal mining company and worked as miner. He served for several years as a Plumcreek Township supervisor and for a short time as an Armstrong County Democratic committeeman. He calls himself a lifelong conservative, but was registered as a Democrat for much of his life. Mr. Smith did not attend college. He and his wife Sandy have seven children.
Mr. Smith, of Clarion County, does not have a campaign website, and could not be reached. According to the Allentown Morning Call, Mr. Smith, 65, is a retired postal worker and the founder of a children's community gardening program.
Wealthy former coal miner vs. established incumbent with a politician father vs. third-party candidate with no funding.
Tom Smith: An outsider with private sector experience, willing to spend own money to fund race.
Casey: Staying above the fray, emphasizing core conservative Democratic themes on manufacturing, jobs and veterans issues.
Rayburn Smith: Unknown
Tom Smith: Democrats characterize him as a wealthy, out-of-touch party flipper whose party jilted him in the primary in order to support Steve Welch, another wealthy businessman.
Casey: Republicans portray him as a lifelong politician who has been unable to move legislation through Congress except at the behest of the president.
Rayburn Smith: No visibility and no funding.
Smith: Mr. Smith came out swinging with commercials attacking Mr. Casey for voting to raise taxes, for failing to create jobs, for opposing the balanced-budget amendment and for rubberstamping White House policies. He followed with a series of ads tying the senator to the president's economic and health reform packages, repeatedly referring to the "Casey-Obama agenda." More recent advertising has characterized Mr. Smith as a job creator who wants to cut federal spending, simplify the tax code and withhold lawmakers pay when
Congress hasn't passed a budget. (Smith for Senate YouTube page)
Casey: The Casey campaign is targeting Tom Smith's involvement in the tea party group Indiana-Armstrong Patriots. "Is Tom Smith your cup of tea?" says one commercial that accuses the Republican challenger of
having a divisive political agenda that would increase Medicare costs for seniors, raise the retirement age and privatize Social Security. (Bob Casey for Senate YouTube page)
The major party candidates each have a pair of websites, one touting his own candidacy and the other tearing down his opponent. The Casey campaign is operating www.bobcasey.com and www.teapartytom.com.
Tom Smith's campaign is operating www.tomsmithforsenate.com and www.senatorzero.com.
- National Research Inc. and Global Strategy Group: Casey leads Smith 43 percent to 30 percent among likely voters. Margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
- Morning Call and Muhlenberg College: Casey leads Smith 49 percent to 30 percent among likely voters. Margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.
Mr. Casey raised $10.6 million and spent $4.7 million as of June 30, according to the campaign finance tracker OpenSecrets.org. Of that, $2.5 million came from lawyers and lobbyists, $1.3 million came from the financial, insurance and real estate industries and $1.1 million came from health care. About $95,000 came from contributors associated with Comcast Corp, and 32 percent of contributions came from outside Pennsylvania.
Tom Smith raised nearly $8 million and spent $5.7 million as of June 30, according to OpenSecrets. According to the Federal Elections Commission, Mr. Smith loaned his campaign $6.5 million and contributed another $322,000. Retirees provided $103,000, more than any other group including the mining industry, which provided $88,000, according to OpenSecrets. Four percent of his contributions are from outside Pennsylvania.
The Federal Elections Commission has no record of Rayburn Smith, who would have been required to file campaign finance reports if he had raised or spent more than $5,000.