Thompson Announces Re-Election Bid
On a cold and snowy afternoon in State College, Republican U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson officially announced his candidacy for re-election to Congress, representing Pennsylvania's Fifth Congressional District.
The announcement came at a news conference on Tuesday at the Ramada Inn Conference Center.
Approximately 50 of Thompson's constituents turned out for the event.
“First of all, I really just want to say thank you,” Thompson said, “for the opportunity to work for you and be able to serve you. For me, this is all about public service.”
The State College stop helped kick off his “whistle stop” bus tour of the Fifth District. The tour, he said, spanned 16 counties, 24 locations and more than 800 miles of travel.
Thompson has held his seat in Congress since 2009 and is currently chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Forestry, Conservation and Energy.
His day began with lunch at a Miller's Diner in Huntingdon and continued on to State College, where the official announcement came.
“The whole 'whistle stop' tour was something I did with my first re-election. We try to demonstrate how I work the district,” Thompson said. “I'm not in Washington. I'm out in the communities. I'm very visible. I'm communicating and problem solving with individuals, families, businesses, agencies and other local officials. It's a lot of fun. It's the old fashioned tour but we don't do it by train, we do it by mini-bus.”
Following the State College stop, Thompson was off to his hometown of Howard for a covered dish dinner. There were also scheduled stops in Clinton, Cameron and Tioga Counties.
Challenging Thompson is Democrat Thomas Edward Tarantella, a 22-year U.S. Army veteran and lifelong resident of the fifth district.
There may be yet another Democratic challenger. Jay Paterno, son of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, has been rumored to have interest in making a run for the House seat.
Thompson refused to speculate on his opponents.
“Obviously, every election, people talk about it,” Thompson said. “We don't know and we really won't know until papers are filed in March. I won't speculate at all on that. We call them elections and it's a great process. The people who want to run can run.”
As far as Centre County is concerned, Thompson likes the growth of Penn State. He's hopeful that the university will continue to expand and create more jobs.
“We should, absolutely,” he said. “You always build on the resources you have.”
Thompson said that if re-elected, he will continue to be the voice of his constituents in Washington, D.C.
Last year, he said, he spoke more on the floor than any other member of Congress.
“In terms of service, it's being your voice in Washington,” he said. “I learned a long time ago, it's not how much you say, it's what you say.”