Officials show support for decision
TOWANDA - Officials from Bradford, Tioga and Sullivan counties came to the Weigh Station Cafe in Towanda Thursday to show their support for Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith as he announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania.
Smith "is a very capable, young, energetic, smart commissioner. I think he would be a great addition to the state government," said Sullivan County Commissioner Bob Getz, who added that he has gotten to know Smith over the past five years.
Smith "will be great for the (local) area" if he's elected lieutenant governor, former Bradford County Commissioner John Sullivan said.
"We'd have someone who's not from Philadelphia or Pittsburgh representing us in Harrisburg," Sullivan said.
Smith is "very well spoken" and prepares himself well when tackling issues as a county commissioner, and if he's elected lieutenant governor, "he will do a great job," Sullivan said.
"He's got a strong work ethic," Sullivan said. "He spends whatever time is necessary to get the mission accomplished."
"I think he (Smith) sees things from a different perspective than a lot of politicians," said David Buck, who serves as the greenway coordinator for the Endless Mountains Heritage Region Inc. "(Mark Smith) is not a big political figure. He is coming from grassroots Bradford County, rather than from the political regime."
"I think Mark (Smith) is very capable to run for office," said Joan Gustin, chairperson of the Bradford County Democratic Party.
Smith is not a type of politician who is all talk and no action, Gustin said.
As chairman of the Bradford County commissioners, Smith had wanted to see the county's guaranteed energy savings project get done, "and it was," according to Gustin.
Smith also wanted to make the county government more advanced from a technological point of view, and that has also taken place, she said.
The county's guaranteed energy savings project, which made the county-owned buildings more energy efficient, "is all computer controlled," Smith said.
There have also been significant technology upgrades in the county's accounting and assessment offices in recent years, he said.
Smith "is a real hard worker," Gustin said.
And Smith's experience and knowledge about Marcellus Shale gas drilling would benefit the state government, she said.
Linda Warner, chairperson of the Bradford County Tourism Committee, noted that the county got an award from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania for the development of the county's electronic newsletter, which Smith developed, with the assistance of an employee in the commissioners' office, Michelle Shedden.
Smith makes "very common-sense decisions," said Germaine Donahue, chairperson of the Sullivan County Democratic Party. "I think he has also demonstrated that he can work across the aisle," Donahue said.
Ulster resident John Borits, who has volunteered for Smith when he ran for county commissioner, noted that Smith is running for statewide office after having made many contacts across the state through his work on the board of directors of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) and as the chairman of Bradford County's task force on the natural gas industry.
"Smith has got a first-class mind," Borits said. "I think that's very important in a politician. He gets along well with people."
James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: email@example.com