"I personally don't believe that people look for Republicans and Democrats. I think they look for problem solvers."
Casting himself as a problem-solver, Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-5) visited Warren early Thursday morning as part of a 16-county, 24-stop, more than 800-mile bus trip throughout the district during which he is announcing his bid for re-election to Congress in the upcoming election.
Thompson said the "whistle-stop tour" is the way he prefers to kick off election season. He will be seeking a fourth term this fall.
Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton
Congressman Glenn Thompson was at Perkins Restaurant on Wednesday morning for one of 24 stops on his four-day, 16-county re-election announcement bus tour.
Speaking to a group of approximately 20 people at Perkins Restaurant, Thompson cited his service, leadership and statesmanship as a rationale for consideration for another term.
Of his service, he explained his responsibilities as a member of the U.S. House to meet with constituents and businesses. "It's also being your voice, though," he said. "I take it so seriously."
He explained that part of that is being involved in floor debate in the House. Thompson said, according to CSPAN, "I'm the number one speaker for number of days on the House floor." He said to enumerate the point that it is "important on your behalf to engage in in debate" and lead and shape the debate where possible.
Thompson said he was at the bottom of the 'food chain' when he arrived in Washington for his first term in 2009 but is now 259 of the 435 members in terms of seniority. "It's just not where you are in seniority, it's what you do with it," he said.
He highlighted work on the farm bill that is near completion. "It's a food bill. It's a farm bill. It's a jobs bill," he said.
Thompson also emphasized statesmanship. He defended gridlock in Washington "if you're fighting and defending against bad policy that hurts people. It's part of the process."
However, he cited his work with bipartisan caucuses as well as with No Labels, also a bipartisan group focused on problem solving, as evidence of statesmanship throughout his first three terms.
"(I'm) here to humbly ask for your support," he said.
Thursday was day three of the bus tour and also featured stops in Corry, Waterford, Erie and North East.
To this point, one individual has submitted his name for the nomination to challenge Thompson in the fall general election. Thomas Tarantella, a 22-year Army veteran whose website says he was born and raised in Clinton County, has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination.
The Fifth Congressional District stretches from Erie County in the west to Williamsport in the east. It also borders New York and extends to State College in the south. The district has had a Republican representative since 1975.