Three items about Republicans from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, beginning with Chris Christie, the most eligible bachelor now eyed by GOP brides hunting for a presidential mate.

The Inquirer's Tom Fitzgerald has this item about how conservatives who love Christie's plain-talking swagger may gasp when they learn about some moderate positions he's taken in the past.

And from Dan Hirschhorn, who used to edit the website pa2010, we learn that former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum made over $900,000 in income in 2010 and early 2011, including $239,000 from the parent company of Fox News, whose presidential coverage he's criticized lately. More details in Hirschhorn's piece on Politico.com.

And finally, I got an exclusive this week when I was the only reporter to attend the Philadelphia campaign announcement of Tom Smith, a western Pennsylvania Republican who wants to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey next year. To do that, he'll have to overcome a growing Republican field, but as somebody with money of his own to put into the race, he could do it. Read my piece on his announcement here.

But here's something I learned that wasn't in the story. After his three daughters were nearly grown, Smith and his wife Sandy decided to adopt a family of four kids, aged 14-18 who were in foster care in South Texas.

The Smiths didn't know them, just decided they were at a point in their lives when they could help someone. So they brought them to Pennsylvania, built an addition on the house to put everybody up, and raised them as their own.

If you know anything about the child welfare system, you know that it's not easy to find adoptive homes for kids from difficult backgrounds who aren't babies or toddlers. Teenagers are hard to place, and teenage siblings are even harder.

It doesn't qualify Smith to be a Senator, but a couple that makes a commitment like that stands tall in my book.

And I'll add that you won't find this in Smith's campaign biography. I learned it because there were all kinds of kids running around the room where he announced, and I asked a him a bunch of nosy questions afterward.

He was a little sheepish about telling the story, but it came out when I asked about his family.