Penn State Student Tom Dougherty Announces Candidacy for State College Borough Council
Penn State sophomore Tom Dougherty will run for a seat on the State College Borough Council, he announced on Wednesday.
A Democrat, Dougherty is studying international politics and is currently an at-large representative for the University Park Undergraduate Association. He does not plan to run in the upcoming UPUA election. Instead, he’ll focus on his Borough Council campaign and, if elected, public service.
Dougherty has served since last spring as UPUA’s liaison to Borough Council. According to his campaign platform, his goals are to address issues in the community with increased transparency; push for more sustainability initiatives and responsible growth; increase affordable and transitional housing; increase town and gown initiatives to grow a unified community;promote bike safety and a bike friendly community; engage with all residents and promote equitable growth.
“With full intent, I plan to represent all members of our community on the State College Borough Council. Currently, there is much work to do to bridge the gap between Penn State and the rest of State College,” Dougherty said. “It is my belief, that the first way to move towards that goal is to have a student sit on Borough Council. I will promote town and gown unity with legislation that works for the entire State College community. I will push for equitable growth, sustainability, and affordability."
The last undergraduate student to win a seat on Borough Council was Dean Phillips, who ran in 1973. He served on the council for more than three years as both an undergraduate and a graduate student.
Then-freshman Rylie Cooper ran for council during the last municipal election in 2017, but did not win a nomination in the primary.
“In a divided nation, it is our responsibility to ensure our local community is united,” Dougherty said. “Together, we must strive to stand in support of everyone in State College, no matter which side of College Avenue you fall on.”
The primary election is May 21. Four of the seven seats on borough council are up for election this year