Getting to know State College mayoral candidates

Local News

Four candidates will square off in the May 16 primary race for mayor in State College. 

This comes after mayor Elizabeth Goreham announced she would not be seeking re-election in February 2017. 

Michael Black

The business owner of Black Sun Studio in State College has lived in the borough for 25 years, starting off as a graduate student at Penn State. 

“I embody what State College wants, I’m a student that ended up raising a family here, ended up starting a business, I invest a ton of myself and energy in the community of State College,” he said. 

As mayor, Black said he would ‘protect, preserve, and enhance’ existing parks and green spaces. He also wants to ensure the safety and well-being of residents. 

“We want to protect civil rights, we want to protect inclusivity, we want to protect the right for everyone to communicate and have a voice,” Black said. 

Janet Engeman

She currently serves on borough council and has lived in the borough for more than 20 years. 

Engeman said she’s active in organizations such as her church and the Big Sisters group. 

Social and environmental issues matter to her, as well as addressing the need for affordable housing options in State College. 

Engeman said the mayor’s role is limiting than most people think, but serving as mayor would be to impact her community. 

“I prefer people and reaching out to people and engaging people,” Engeman said. 

Cathy Dauler

Dauler is serving her 14 term on borough council. 

She said she has history of working with organizations that work to preserve neighborhoods and downtown State College. 

Dauler credits her involvement for being able to relate to both students and long-term residents. 

“It seemed like a natural jump; I know a lot about local government and State College government,” Dauler said. 

Don Hahn 

Hahn is a Centre County attorney who served as a council member for 12 years and is a former council president. 

He said the borough is a balance and it’s important to ‘maintain a balance between town and gown.’ 

If elected mayor, he’d like to change the relationship with state and federal government. 

“State College has been living the motto ‘think globally, act locally’ and I think that State College has been a very ideal community,” Hahn said. 

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