Thomas Joel “Tom” Smith, born on October 20, 1947, and died October 17, 2015.
Tom was a Pennsylvania Republican politician, farmer and businessman.
A Democrat for four decades before seeking elective office, Smith switched his registration in 2011 and ran for the United States Senate in the 2012 election as a Republican, losing to the incumbent Democratic Senator Bob Casey, Jr.
Smith grew up in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania and graduated from the Elderton High School in 1965.
At 19, he decided to postpone college to run the family farm when his father was ill.
He also took over the family’s school bus company.
The Smiths had three biological children, and later adopted four more children from Texas.
Tom was involved in local politics as a Democrat, serving on the Plumcreek Township Board of Supervisors and became President of the Board.
In 1975, the Plumcreek board voted to increase the real estate tax rate from 6 to 8 mills.
In 1977, the board created an income tax, and he voted for the “Local Tax enabling Act.”
In 1978, he voted for the creation of a 1% real estate transfer tax.
Tom was a Democratic committeeman as recently as 2010 and was a member of the party for four decades.
“It’s true, I was a Democrat, but I was conservative, so I really wasn’t a Democrat,” Smith says, noting that he now chairs a local chapter in the Tea Party movement.
After graduation, he married his high school sweetheart.
They have lived in Armstrong County for several years with seven children.
His net worth is estimated between $60 to $70 million.
Tom passed away at age 67 in 2015.