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NEWPORT TWP. — George Thomas, 57, of Alden in Newport Township, announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for the 119th Legislative District seat currently occupied by State Rep. Gerald Mullery.

Thomas’s name will be familiar to many from his years as moderator of “Call the Doctor” on WVIA-TV.

Thomas becomes the second person to formally announce their candidacy for the seat: Jim Costello, a Wilkes-Barre Area schoolteacher and former executive director of the Keystone State Games, made his announcement about seeking the GOP nomination last week.

Thomas’ announcement came the same day as Mullery announced he has decided to not seek re-election. As of Thursday night no Democrats had announced their candidacy to succeed Mullery, a Newport Township Democrat who has held the seat since 2011.

Thomas served as “Call the Doctor” moderator for 11 years, appearing on over 230 live episodes of the show.

“When you research and prepare for that many topics you learn a few things about what people in our area are going through. Doing so many call-in episodes and hearing the social and health concerns of our area gives me a unique understanding of our struggles,” he said in a statement released Thursday.

“I am not a politician and don’t want to become one. I want to be your representative,” Thomas added. “That’s a big distinction for me.”

Thomas said he “has seen the Federal Government grow to an immense size since casting my first vote as a young Republican for Ronald Reagan, a person who fought against Big Government.”

“Every time I hear the words of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer or think of what those Democrats that embrace Marxism are doing right now, it just pushes me to run,” Thomas said. “These types of politicians are hurting us and it all seems to be a game to them. To paraphrase one of our Founding Fathers, it’s time to set things right.”

Thomas cited his beliefs:

• Government is supposed to help us, not take from us.

• Government is supposed to protect us so we can do what we want, not tell us what to do.

• Government is supposed to provide a climate in which we can – by our own efforts – pursue our

dreams and goals.

“The two most important things the Constitution is supposed to do is limit the power of the

Federal Government and declare loudly that our rights are given to us from God and therefore

cannot be taken away by the government. Right now those two ideals are under direct attack,” Thomas said.

He said that “as parents we know what is right for our children medically and in the classroom. We don’t need Big Government to dictate that to us.”

Thomas also raised concerns about wasteful government spending, saying politicians “took out a credit card in our children’s names racking up trillions of dollars of debt they will have to pay.”

“I ask for your vote not because you will agree with me 100%, but because I reflect a solid portion of your core values. I won’t win because I raise the most amount of money, send out postcards printed with lies, run nasty campaign commercials or because I am politically connected. I will win because of my connection with you. You know who I am,” he said.

Thomas described himself as the son of a hardworking CPA in business for himself with a devoted wife who worked as a secretary in the local school district.

“I know what it’s like to work long hours. I know what it’s like to lose a career job and stress about how to pay this month’s bills.”

“Being happily married to the most amazing woman for 25 years and having the privilege of raising three fantastic boys, I am concerned about what I see in their eyes. Like you, they are extremely worried about what they see this huge Federal Government doing … and NOT doing for our country.”

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Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.