In a splashy announcement, Armstrong County coal baron Tom Smith is putting $4.25 million of his own cash (so far) into the GOP US Senate race -- far above the $1 million fellow candidate Steve Welch announced yesterday.
Why are they announcing the cash now, before reports are due in a couple weeks? PoliticsPa has the insider dope:
As much or more than the innate value of the million dollars on hand is the optics: the Senate candidates are currently jockeying for support of Republican State Committee. The GOP will meet in regional caucuses starting this Saturday, where they will hold straw polls and discuss possible endorsements for the 2012 primary. A hefty Q4 is key to candidates seeking to prove, in time for the statewide meeting on Jan. 28, that they would be the most serious challenger to Sen. Bob Casey. Why else announce numbers on the same day most political media is focused on Iowa? (At least two other campaigns say they will also announce this week).
The full statement by the Smith camp is after the jump: