Mayor Ron Filippelli and former Councilwoman Cathy Dauler will seek a return to State College Borough Council in this year’s election.
In a joint statement on Friday, both said that they will run as a team on the Democratic ballot in the May 18 primary.
Filippelli previously was elected to two terms on borough council from 2006 to 2013, serving one term as council president and one year as the chair of the Centre Region Council of Governments. He was appointed interim mayor of State College in December 2019 to fill the remaining two years of Don Hahn’s term after Hahn was elected district judge.
Dauler was elected to four previous terms on borough council, serving consecutive terms from 2000 through 2007 and again from 2012 through 2019. She served two years as council president.
“Last year at this time, neither of us had any intention to run for office again, but the events of the last 12 months have convinced us of the need for experienced, competent leaders who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the welfare of the borough and its citizens over many years,” Filippelli said in a statement.
They decided to run because State College faces “perhaps the most difficult period in the Borough’s history.”
Dauler said State College faces three crises: COVID-19 and its impact on borough finances, the effects of the pandemic on the local business community, “and attacks on borough leaders over the borough’s response to the Osagie tragedy.”
Local advocacy groups have been highly critical of borough leaders after an amended complaint in the Osagie family lawsuit contained new accusations that the former police officer who fatally shot Osaze Osagie in 2019 had a known history of alleged of heavy drinking and domestic abuse. Filippelli and Borough Manager Tom Fountaine issued a statement saying the complaint “contains false claims, and half-truths, while also leaving out critical facts and context…” 3/20 Coalition members called the statement “disrespectful” and “insensitive,” while Filippelli said it was not an attack on the Osagie family.
In their joint statement, Dauler and Filippelli said their campaign will be “based on inclusivity, accountability, fiscal responsibility and honesty.”
Both Dauler and Filippelli have served and currently serve on multiple borough authorities, boards and commissions, COG committees and boards of local non-profits.
Filippelli pledged he would not seek election as mayor when he was appointed to the role. Democrat Ezra Nanes is the only candidate so far to announce a candidacy for State College mayor.
State College’s home rule charter limits council members to two consecutive four-year terms but otherwise does not limit the number of terms a member can serve.
Three borough council seats are up for election in 2021. Current council members Evan Myers and Theresa Lafer are term-limited and cannot run this year. The third is held by Katherine Yeaple, who was appointed to fill the remaining term of former Councilman Dan Murphy.