Transcript to Tom McGarrigle’s campaign announcement

Here is the transcript from Tom McGarrigle’s formal announcement this morning that he is running for state Senate in the 26th District:

“First off, I’d like to welcome and thank everybody for being here on this chilly day. As Andy Reilly said, it’s a little bit warmer in Middletown. That’s because he’s a lawyer and he’s used to being inside. He doesn’t work hard like us working men outside.

“My name is Tom McGarrigle. I am pleased to announce that I am officially a candidate for the Pennsylvania State Senate.

This service station behind you is the business that me and my wife started from the ground up 33 years ago. I’ll give you a little brief history on where I came from and where I am today.

I’m one of eight children that grew up with a wonderful mother. I lost my father when my mother was 34 years old. She had the great task of raising eight children with no money. She gave us some very important things that I thank her every day for giving me. She gave us all the ability to work hard and she made us. She taught us to work together as a family unit and always be willing to help others whenever you could. We all do that today. Thank you, mom, for that.

Those lessons of working hard paid off. At the age of 21, I opened my first automotive repair business in Sharon Hill. It went from Sharon Hill to Collingdale to eventually here in Springfield. I’m very lucky to have two of my three sons involved in my business and my lovely wife. Without her being here, I wouldn’t be doing what I am today. I thank my family and I thank all of my employees who do a wonderful job for me every day.

Michael (Puppio) thanked Ted Erickson, but I’d also like to take a moment to acknowledge the state Senator. Ted has been a fantastic legislator, a person who earns the respect of every person who has ever met him. He has never let partisanship or party labels get in the way of doing what is right for the residents of the 26th Senatorial District or the state of Pennsylvania. He will be missed and leaves extremely big shoes to fill. Thank you, Ted.

I never really considered myself a politician. If you ask any of my good friends, I think they’d agree. Most of my life, my passion was building a small business and making the living to support my family.

Like many other fathers I got involved with my children’s youth sports. Thanks to a gentleman behind me, Rep. (William) Adolph, who put the hook into me, he encouraged me to run for commissioner in Springfield Township, where I worked to address township concerns like public safety, parks, sports fields and other quality of life issues here in Springfield Township. Later, I saw an opportunity to have a broader impact on the county level and was encouraged by local residents to run for Delaware County council.

“In working with my colleagues – who Michael introduced earlier – we’ve done some amazing things in Delaware County. We were able to achieve a number of successes. We saved thousands of local jobs when the two Delaware County refineries were threatened with closure. We made our schools safer for our children and their teachers by launching a program to install a panic button in every school in Delaware County.

We brought a new state-of-the-art movie and production studio to Delaware County. We worked successfully to bring the Philadelphia Union soccer and PPL Park to Delaware County. We developed a comprehensive, economic plan for the county’s future, which made Delaware County the No. 1 county in southeastern Pennsylvania for job growth.

“We developed a program to help fund open space preservation and to revitalize the communities in the eastern part of the county. Most recently, we have turned our attention to the scourge of heroin addiction. We have formed a heroin task force to address prescription drug abuse and the heroin epidemic that is increasingly affecting our young people and communities.

“I decided to kick my campaign off here because it underscores my strong belief that we need representatives in Harrisburg who understand the challenges families and small businesses face every day. I’ve been a resident of the 26th Senatorial District for almost 40 years. My wife and I were married here (and) raised our kids here. I want this district to provide the same, great opportunities it did for me when I started my business years ago. That is why I am running for the state Senate.

I will be strong voice for job creation. I know what it takes to create good paying jobs for the working men of our district. I’ve signed the front of a paycheck for over 30 years and know the challenges of keeping a small business afloat and providing good, steady jobs for my employees.

I will work tirelessly to increase educational opportunities for our children. I know that elementary and secondary education is the starting point for success in life. It is time to address the inequities in the funding for public education. It is not realistic to continue to ask struggling communities to generate more revenue from already over-taxed property owners. The current funding system only serves to expand the inequities between the haves and the have-nots. Where a family lives should not be the determining factor in the quality of education that their children receives.

I will provide local officials and law-enforcement personnel with the tools to keep our community safe. I will be an advocate for fiscal responsibility with your tax dollars. That is why I am running for state Senate. I look forward to seeing all of you on the campaign trails in the months ahead. Thank you very much for coming today.”

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