Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Jason Richey paid a visit to Deep Well Services in Zelienople Thursday afternoon to talk about his campaign ahead of the May primary election.
Richey spoke about his commitment to the energy sector as well as to shrinking government and reducing taxes, particularly on his goal to reduce the state income tax to zero percent.
“I want you to hear, and for everyone in Pennsylvania to hear, from Erie to Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to Scranton, that I am unequivocally and unapologetically a champion of the energy and manufacturing industries in Pennsylvania,” Richey said to an assembled group of Deep Well Services workers and leaders.
“As governor, the energy industry will have no greater friend than Jason Richey,” he said, adding that Pennsylvania needs to “unleash” the energy industry.
Richey was introduced by Slippery Rock Mayor Jondavid Longo.
“I've spent a few years in local government, and if I've learned anything it's that public service requires more than just a flashy image and some catchy rhetoric,” Longo said. “Having listened to Jason speak a few times now, I'm certain because he sold me on day one.”
Western Pennsylvania candidate
Richey spoke about growing up in Beaver County and working as a lawyer for more than two decades at the K&L Gates law firm in Pittsburgh. Describing himself as a political outsider, he said that his history in Western Pennsylvania is an asset.
“We've only had four Republican governors since the 1960s, and they all have one thing in common: they're all from Western Pennsylvania,” Richey said. “Democrats and Independents that are over here will vote for one of their own. They are more conservative than their friends in Philadelphia, and they will vote for one of their own over a liberal like Josh Shapiro from Philadelphia.” he said.
Richey said he disapproved of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a plan approved by the state Independent Regulatory Review Commission earlier this month. The plan would put a regional cap on emissions from power plants and charge for each ton of pollution.
Richey described the plan as “the next attack on our way of life.”
“It's a foolish liberal concept that I view as a direct attack,” he said, pledging to repeal the state's participation if he became governor.
Richey also answered questions from the audience about talking points, including the idea of Critical Race Theory, voting and the coal industry.
“I will ban CRT, it has no place in our schools,” he said, tying the discussion to the topic of school choice: “Even if you ban it, they can sneak it in, and one of the benefits of school choice is that if your school is doing that, you have an opportunity to take your state money and go to another school.”
Guest at Deep Well Services
Deep Well Services CEO Mark Marmo organized Richey's visit to Deep Well Services.
“He's a Western Pennsylvanian who supports oil and gas. Everything he says is just common sense to me,” Marmo said.
Marmo said that he hopes to have Richey visit Deep Well again before the May primaries.
“We'll do anything we possibly can for Jason,” Marmo said. “What you want in a politician is someone who's genuine, and he's definitely that.”
“We're big energy supporters, and he's pro energy, and that's definitely somebody I would vote for,” said Carol Naugle, chief financial officer at Deep Well Services, who attended the event. “He said all the right things.”