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Democrat Daniel Smith challenges Daryl Metcalfe’s obstructionist ways

By October 23, 2018 2 Comments

Democrat Daniel Smith, pictured on Freedom Road in Cranberry Township, says he’s running against Daryl Metcalfe because the Republican has turned his back on the district he serves (Current Photo by Jake Mysliwczyk)

“Have you ever tried to drive on Freedom Road during rush hour?” Daniel Smith asked me when we first met earlier this summer. “The traffic is ridiculous; it has been for years. That’s why I’m running for this seat. Daryl Metcalfe doesn’t work for the constituents of this district.”

You don’t have to live in his Butler County district to know who state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe is. In fact, if you live outside the district you know him as an extreme right-wing homophobic, xenophobic obstructionist who uses his religious beliefs and narrow worldview as a cudgel to beat down anyone he disagrees with.

He has spent his career blocking all legislation brought forward by Democrats and has single-handedly kept important quality of life legislation from ever reaching the house floor. He blocked medical marijuana for years, he has long blocked civil rights protections for the LGBTQ community and he has held countless public hearings over his career to denigrate and otherwise shit on undocumented immigrants. He has kept important legislation tied up in gridlock.

Just like the traffic on Freedom Road.

If you live inside Metcalfe’s district you see the same things as the rest of the state, but you also see a state legislator who doesn’t fight for your needs. In Cranberry Township, for example, there’s a two-lane stretch of road where at least four lanes are needed to handle the daily flow of traffic of this township that has grown rapidly in the past 20 years. Smith and others in the district say Metcalfe’s refusal to help get district projects like this funded at the state level is the main reason he needs to go.

“The fact is Daryl has done nothing to bring money back to this district for important projects. But we’re not asking for a government handout. We pay taxes and we watch our tax dollars go to fund products all over the state,” says Smith, an openly gay Democrat who says he can beat Metcalfe because he’s focusing on the needs of the district. “The money is not brought back here and we need a representative who prioritizes this district.

“In this district we care about our roads and that proper funding is brought back to our schools and our emergency service agencies. When they call the roll at school or when the EMT comes to help you, they don’t ask you if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. Local issues are nonpartisan.”

A lot has been made about whether Smith’s sexuality would hinder his chances of winning in such a conservative district. But, he says, he has made it a point to knock on the doors of Republicans to talk to them about his campaign and they have been receptive. Metcalfe, meanwhile, has tried to make Smith being gay an issue, but Smith says it hasn’t gotten a lot of traction. But the ploy should come as no surprise since the man has repeatedly spewed hate at the LGBTQ community, including calling openly gay state Rep. Brian Sims a “lying homosexual” and went batshit crazy when a Democratic colleague innocently touched Metcalfe’s arm during a committee meeting. He has also refused to shake Smith’s hand.

Smith’s assessment has been bolstered by many local officials including Republican Cranberry Township Supervisor John Skorupan. Skorupan told Philly Magazine this past summer, “We’ve never had Mr. Metcalfe’s support for any of the initiatives that we’ve put forth to try to get some of our taxes back from Harrisburg for this road construction … so we don’t even go to him anymore. I don’t think there are many people who want to work with him. He’s not working to get money back to his district, that’s for sure.”

2 Comments

  • T. Moore says:

    If Daniel Smith is running for State Rep perhaps he’d garner more support if he actually understood how state highway tax dollars are distributed. A quick example of it is to look up what black hole the last hefty fuel tax was pissed away too. (hint hint mass transit and bicycle trails took a hefty bite of it) Metcalfe NEVER supported that. I for one am happier to keep my hard earned dollars in my pocket and not in Harrisburg or Cranberry coffers to be pissed away on wasteful garbage. Shall we start with the taxpayer supported golf course of wasteful flower beds along 228, 19 and congested Freedom Rd.
    Secondly if Mr. Smith wants to fly his rainbow flag to victory perhaps he might care to revisit the results of what happened when the rainbow flag attacked Chick-fil-A. Don’t use your lifestyle as a political weapon.

  • Jacob M says:

    T. Moore; Blah Blah Blah. Must be nice to do DM’s dirty work. If you read, it’s YOU and DM that are making Daniel’s sexuality an issue; not him! It will be great to finally have some change in this District! As far as the tax dollars and “how it works” I’m sure you’re the leading expert on the issue?? If so, why don’t YOU run? It seems that NOBODY knows how it can really be done, but just as in my business, collaboration and being able to work well with each other is a great start and a must, or else one is fired! DM has had 18 years. His time is done!

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