Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage addressed his defeat in Tuesday’s Primary Election at Thursday’s board work session meeting.
Halcovage finished 7th of 8 candidates vying for 2 Republican nominations for Schuylkill County Commissioner. The loss ended a contentious campaign for those nominations and seemingly ends his run as one of the more popular Commissioners in recent history.
“Congratulations to all those that were successful in the election, but I also want to thank those who put their name forward to make our county a better place to work, live, and raise a family,” Halcovage said Thursday.
He added, “I think it’s important that everyone know that to put your name on a ballot is an extremely challenging thing so I have respect for those, even the opponents that I had, that they go out and do what they feel is their civic duty. Again, congratulations to those who have gone forward for the General Election.”
Tamaqua business owner Larry Padora secured the first nomination, garnering the most votes in the Primary Election on Tuesday. Current Commissioners Chairman Barron Hetherington finished in 2nd place. Mary Jo Moss finished a strong 3rd, just missing out on unseating the 2 incumbents.
Legal Issues Spoiled a Potential 4th Halcovage Term in Office
Voters clearly showed their displeasure with the long-time Commissioner as he faces an ongoing legal battle. Halcovage’s legal troubles started soon after he took office for his third term.
The Commissioner has maintained his innocence throughout the legal saga that’s played out for about 2 years. And in comments just prior to the election, he expressed his desire to tell his side of the story.
Halcovage didn’t get half the votes of Hetherington on Tuesday, who was among a contingent of elected servants who have called on him to resign amid the allegations.
Just prior to the election, Hetherington called Halcovage “dysfunctional” because he refused to stop questioning a very questionable land deal that Hetherington sprung on the public back in March.
It appears that Halcovage won’t stop questioning that deal as he once again brought it up at the end of his comments on Thursday, suggesting that the County may not even be permitted to sell the land Hetherington wants to unload.
End of an Era
At the end of the year, when Halcovage presumably will leave office, it’ll end a 12-year run as Schuylkill County Commissioner.
He was first elected in the 2011 General Election. In that election, he and incumbent Republican, the late-Frank Staudenmeier, ushered in an era of Republican Party majority on the Commissioners board.
In the 2015 Election, Halcovage collected the most votes in his first re-election bid. And he won re-election again in 2019 with the most votes.