By Karen Blackledge

The Daily Item

DANVILLE — As governor, a Montour County man would eliminate school taxes and state Department of Transportation road crews, abolish casinos in Pennsylvania and reduce the power of teachers unions.

Daniel Edward Spickard Jr., of Mahoning Township, says he will seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2010.

"Right now, I'm letting the people know I'm out there to run," he said Thursday.

The candidate, owner of Spickard General Construction, which is based in his home, grew up in Danville and went to school in the borough. He said he hasn't been active in a political party, and that this marks his first attempt at seeking office.

Spickard said he is working with a local lawmaker on his petition to run. The Montour County Board of Elections reported that a gubernatorial candidate needs 2,000 signatures on petitions in order to run for the office. The petitions have to be filed with the Department of State Bureau of Elections in Harrisburg.

In a letter, Spickard wrote he wants to bring "this government back to the people by the people of Pennsylvania. I see many ways in which to better the businesses of this commonwealth, not to mention its people. I want to do away with school taxes and bring the public school system under control of the state."

He wants to take power away from the teachers union and "put it back into the hands of its people," he said. "I feel by doing away totally with school taxes we can begin to bring long-lost businesses back home. I propose to add a 2-cent sales tax to goods already taxed now. By doing this, we can turn it toward our public school system. I also plan to bring some school districts together to even out the number of students attending each school."

Spickard said he would do away with most of PennDOT, particularly road crews, sell all trucks and bid out all road work, including snow removal.

"By doing this, I can be saving the state between $2 billion and $3 billion a year," he said. "I plan on making the yearly state budget my highest priority every year. There are no reasons why our state workers have to suffer because of our legislation. This Democrat-run government has caused this commonwealth nothing but heartaches."

Not one good thing has come of casinos in the state, he said.

"All it did was make weak-minded people want to blow their hard-earned dollars, not giving anything back," he said. "I want to abolish gambling in this state and bring the morals of society back up to higher standards."

He said: "Unions are the problems these days. They are today like the heads of business were in the early days of industry. We need to make a balance between the two. One is no better than the other. If we can achieve a balance in this commonwealth, then we can show others how. Why make our children suffer because a few want to get greedy? What unions don't see is how their greed is hurting everyone else, and eventually, it will come back around to bite them."

There are many ways to cut spending, he said.

"Who would you rather have running your government, someone who wants to take your hard-earned money and blow it on a bridge to nowhere or a man who wants to look out after your well-being?" he asked.

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