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First Democrat announces intent to run for commissioner

December 14, 2018

A Jenners man announced he will once again seek the Democratic nomination for Somerset County commissioner.

If elected, 52-year-old Frank Pelesky said he will use what he has learned while attending meetings during the past three years to serve. It will be his second campaign for commissioner.

He has run for other offices in the past. He said that attending the meetings helped him learn about the workings of county government.

“You have to represent everyone,” he said. “Every area of this county has different views.”

Pelesky said he has a degree in accounting from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and a Master of Business Administration from California University of Pennsylvania. He has a practical nursing license from Allegany College of Maryland’s Somerset County Campus. He has worked for the last 11 years at Laurel View Village in Davidsville as a licensed practical nurse in the personal care and Alzheimer’s unit.

Pelesky said the country is divided, and although he does not believe Democrats in Congress will impeach President Donald Trump, he believes they will discuss it while energizing their base to go to the polls.

“I’m going to have to get as many concentrated Democratic votes as I can,” he said.

Pelesky said his plans include supporting the completion of Route 219 from Meyersdale to Maryland. He said the opioid crisis needs to be addressed through continual education, rehabilitation and support after rehabilitation.

He would also like to see the county use its share of hotel tax money to focus on a specific area from year to year. For example, an electronic billboard could be purchased along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Route 31 business sector to feature county festivals and businesses.

He said he believes there is a way for the county to capitalize on the Shell ethane cracker plant being built near Pittsburgh.

“You gain an advantage exactly like a stock broker,” he said. “You go and see where they are selling their projects, who is buying and who they’re manufacturing for. Then you try to find one. That fits for Somerset County. I guarantee you someone is going to benefit from that plant being built.”

He said he is a fiscal conservative and a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Jenner Rod & Gun Club and Jerome Polish Falcons.

He said he plans to continue to learn about the county and its issues. He is the first Democrat to announce he is running. Current Democratic Commissioner John Vatavuk is not seeking another term in office.

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