We expected a large field of Republican candidates for this year’s Schuylkill County Commissioners race.
And recently, we learned that those expectations weren’t off a bit. In fact, right now, there are 11 people interested in running for the 2 GOP seats in the May 16 Primary Election.
That field apparently includes both sitting Republican Commissioners, Chairman Boots Hetherington and George Halcovage.
Boots was appointed a seat as Schuylkill County Commissioner following the 2020 death of then-Commissioner Frank Staudenmeier. He became Chairman after Halcovage stepped aside from that role when allegations first surfaced of alleged sexual misconduct in office.
Halcovage is currently facing possible impeachment by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and is one of the defendants in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him and other Schuylkill County government officials by 4 Jane Doe Courthouse employees.
A Dozen GOP Schuylkill County Commissioner Candidates
If Hetherington and Halcovage want to retain those Commissioners seats, they’ll be facing a potentially stern test in the Primary.
Here’s who we learned attended a recent Republican Committee meeting showing interest or intent on running to unseat the incumbents. They’re being listed in alphabetical order along with their most prominent role or roles:
- Maria Casey, Schuylkill County Clerk of Courts
- Jeff Dunkel, real estate investor, former Mt. Carbon Mayor
- Dan Evans, chairman of Tamaqua’s City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ)
- George Halcovage, Schuylkill County Commissioner
- Boots Hetherington, Schuylkill County Commissioner
- Ray Jones, Ashland borough manager
- Joe Kowalchick, manages Norwegian Township News & Concerns page on Facebook.
- Mary Jo Moss, a former Blue Mountain School Board member
- Larry Padora, Tamaqua businessman and facilities and grounds maintenance director for Schuylkill Transportation System
- David Sattizahn, EMA coordinator for Pine Grove borough
- Glenn Weist, North Schuylkill school board and General Manager at Keystone Potato Products
At that same meeting, another potential candidate, Tim Henning, of Shenandoah, announced he was withdrawing from consideration.
UPDATE: Soon after publishing, we learned that 1 of the 12 candidates who were running has dropped out of the race. David George, a Norwegian Township supervisor, is no longer running.