Welch says Smith’s spending was the difference in GOP Senate race

The Philadelphia-area Republican candidate for U.S. Senate could not pull off a victory, even though he had the party’s and the governor’s endorsements.

Steve Welch says being outspent five to one by the winner Tom Smith in campaign advertising was what really hurt his campaign.

“I will tell you it is very difficult to run a race when you get outspent five to one,” he said at his campaign headquaters in King of Prussia Tuesday night, “especially when you’re a candidate that nobody knew in this state five months ago.”

Welch says even though he’s disappointed in the result, it’s time for Republicans to unify behind Smith in November as he challenges Democratic incumbent Bob Casey Jr.

“You are going to have Mitt Romney and Tom Smith, people who have actually built businesses and you are going to contrast that to Barack Obama and Bob Casey all they’ve really done is run for office,” Welch said. “I think that’s a stark contrast and that’s what you need and I’m excited to make sure Pennsylvania turns red in 2012.”

Smith, a businessman from western Pennsylvania, won easily with 40 percent of the vote. Former state representative Sam Rohrer got 22 percent, Welch 21 percent, Bucks County’s David Christian 10 percent, and Marc Scaringi 7 percent.

Smith, who made millions in coal mining, told cheering supporters in Pittsburgh that he plans to take aim at what he calls the many economic mistakes made by the Democratic Senate majority of which Casey is a part.

“Our country is headed in the wrong direction,” said Smith, “and Bob Casey is a big part of that problem.”

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