State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Dougherty Earns Republican Write-In Nomination for Borough Council

by on June 26, 2019 1:49 PM

Democrat Tom Dougherty didn't win one of his party's nominations in the May primary for State College Borough Council, but he'll still be on the ballot in November's election.

The Penn State junior secured a write-in nomination on the Republican side, where only one GOP candidate, former state Rep. Lynn Herman, had been on the primary ballot. With four council seats up for election, that meant three write-in candidates could advance to the general election.

Joyce McKinley, Centre County director of elections and voter registration, said the other two Republican write-in nominations were won by Democrats Peter Marshall and Janet Engeman. Marshall, a former State College borough manager, and Engeman, a council incumbent, won Democratic nominations and so will appear on the November ballot as Democrat/Republican. All three have accepted the Republican write-in nominations, McKinley said.

Incumbent Jesse Barlow and newcomer Deanna Behring won the other two Democratic nominations in the May primary.

Dougherty is the Interfraternity Council representative for the University Park Undergraduate Association and former UPUA liaison to borough council. He told Onward State that since Penn State's spring semester ended prior to the primary election, he is looking forward to students being in town to vote in November's election. He also said he encountered some negativity among residents toward student candidates and student voters.

“We will actually be here to vote come November, so they can’t try disenfranchise us like they did in May,” Dougherty said. “Getting the student body involved will make this election more of an investment for the betterment of State College and town and gown unity.”

Dougherty faces an uphill climb, but if he were to win, he would be the first Penn State undergraduate elected to borough council since 1973, when Dean Phillips won a seat.

“It is my hope that with this campaign I can inspire other students to run for public office, and keep our community a place that welcomes all people no matter which side of College Avenue you are on,” Dougherty told Onward State. 

Borough council will have at least two new members next year as Barlow and Engeman are the only incumbents on the November ballot. Current council member Cathy Dauler has reached her term limit  and could not run for reelection and fellow incumbent Democrat David Brown did not win a nomination in the primary.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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