From the Bob Smythe campaign
Bob Smythe Gets Business Nod — Bob Smythe, a K-12 teacher and volunteer firefighter who is running for State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 165th Legislative District, has received the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), a statewide organization that advocates for small businesses. Earlier this month, Smythe earned the endorsement of another statewide business group, the PA Chamber PAC, the political advocacy arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.
Smythe’s opponent, incumbent State Representative Jenn O’Mara, earned a dismal voting record from the NFIB, scoring just 20 percent due to her repeated opposition to legislation designed to help small businesses, which are the driving force behind Pennsylvania and our local economy.
“It’s clear that Bob Smythe shares our vision that a healthy small-business jobs climate can best be achieved through lower taxes, less wasteful state spending and less government regulation,” said Gordon R. Denlinger, State Director of NFIB/Pennsylvania. “Smythe recognizes that small businesses are the driving force behind Pennsylvania’s economy — producing high-quality products, services, and jobs. And it’s also apparent that Bob has a clear understanding of the problems and challenges facing small-business owners in Pennsylvania.”
“I am honored to have the endorsement and support of Pennsylvania’s small business community,” said Bob Smythe. “As our nation and state continue efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 and protect our vulnerable citizens, we must begin to identify how we will support the countless small businesses in our local communities that have been devastated by the virus,” said Bob Smythe. “The negative impacts on small business owners – who employ so many of our friends, neighbors, and family members – will be felt for years to come. As we begin the economic recovery process, we need elected officials who will put the needs of our communities ahead of their blind loyalty to leaders of their political party.”
NFIB cited a number of anti-business votes by Representative O’Mara, including votes related to Governor Wolf’s widespread shutdown of small businesses that he categorized as non-essential while allowing large box stores to remain open for businesses. For example, NFIB cited O’Mara’s opposition to HB 2376 in late-April.
The legislation would have permitted some small businesses to re-open if they only had one employee and only allowed one shopper into a store at a time or provided contactless, curbside pickup. Representative Brad Roae noted that under his legislation, which O’Mara opposed and was later vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf, “Pennsylvanians could shop at small stores with one worker and no other customers, rather than going to large grocery chains or big box stores with dozens of workers and hundreds of customers.”
NFIB also faulted O’Mara for her vote against SB 613, which would have require the governor to create clear safety guidelines that businesses would be required to meet before they were permitted to reopen. Those guidelines – which would need to be based on guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – would have provided a clear framework and safety standards that businesses would have to put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 before they could safely re-open. Although the legislation was approved by both the Pennsylvania House and Senate, it was again vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf.
“These were not reckless bills that endangered the health of the public,” said Smythe. “These were bills that sought to find areas of compromise and implement common sense measures that mitigated the spread of the virus while allowing small business to reopen and compete with large box and chain stores. These were bills that earned widespread support from local residents, yet O’Mara opposed them and justified her votes with scare tactics by falsely claiming they endangered residents.”
“As a history teacher, I feel very strongly that a good State Representative should do just that – represent the people of their district,” said Smythe. “But time and time again, Jenn O’Mara’s votes in the legislature don’t reflect the values and opinions of residents. She votes the way her party leadership wants her to vote, not the way residents want her to vote. If I am elected to be out next State Representative, my votes will reflect the views and values of local residents, even if it puts me at odds with the leadership of my party. Because that’s how our representative form of government – our democracy – should work.”
Learn more about Bob Smythe’s campaign at www.bobsmythe.com.