Last updated: February 19. 2013 1:38PM - 145 Views

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(AP) A Democratic political action committee is running TV ads in Pittsburgh to boost Democratic Sen. Bob Casey's reelection bid against a surprisingly strong challenge from Republican Tom Smith.

The Majority PAC ad, launched Wednesday, says Smith's cost-cutting agenda would mean less money in classrooms, fewer children in Head Start and less aid for college students.

Smith's campaign says he'd help schools by fighting to reduce the cost of federal mandates, but supports Pell grants and some other federal Education Department functions.

Casey's endorsed by the state's major newspapers in his quest for a second, six-year term. Smith is a political newcomer who made a fortune in coal mining and is tapping it to outspend Casey.

Associated Press
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