PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Paul Addis is a highly successful businessman who has never run for public office — until now.
“I believe we need a Republican Party with a thoughtful, comprehensive vision,” Addis told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Thursday during a visit to Pittsburgh.
The now-retired millionaire energy executive who began his career as a janitor at Macy’s to pay his way through college, wants to replace U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat from Scranton.
“Mr. Casey, in almost two terms, has done very little for our state. I’m not sure I can point to specific things that he has done that enhanced the quality of life, the economy of Pennsylvania,” Addis said.
Addis, who lives outside Philadelphia in suburban Delaware County, says he’s qualified to be senator.
“People who enter politics should have broad experience at life, have failed, have succeeded, have learned a lot,” said Addis. “I have made lots and lots of business mistakes, and hopefully, learned from them.”
On being asked whether or not he was “the Pennsylvania Donald Trump,” Addis replied “No, definitely not. I am not the Pennsylvania Donald Trump.”
Indeed, the candid Republican admits that he did not vote for Trump for president, writing in John McCain’s name instead.
He says his first obligation as senator is to Pennsylvania, not the White House; although, he agrees with President Trump on some issues.
“I align with his desire for change, but I think we’ve been bogged down in six months of rancor, of pomposity,” Addis notes. “And I don’t see a comprehensive, thoughtful plan that has been proposed, and I don’t see the hard work of building coalitions.”
Addis recognizes that he is a unique kind of candidate — blunt, outspoken, and clear as can be.
“I will be candid, and I hope that candor will gain me visibility, and hopefully, a following,” he said.
Addis is not the only Republican in the running to take on Casey, the incumbent Democrat.
Two local state representatives, Rick Saccone of Elizabeth and Jim Christiana of Beaver, have announced their candidacies, along with Congressman Lou Barletta of Hazelton.
With the Republicans holding just a four-seat majority in the U.S. Senate, Pennsylvania is expected to be a competitive battleground state.
The primary election is not until May of 2018.