Baker accepts presidential appointment

WELLSBORO — State Rep. Matt Baker, R-Wellsboro, resigned from the House of Representatives Monday to accept a federal position.

Baker announced earlier this month that he would not seek re-election to his 68th House seat, but remained mum about his future plans.

“It is with great sadness that I am leaving the House of Representatives sooner than I would have desired; however, I have been given the opportunity to serve the people of the 68th District and beyond in an even greater capacity than my current position allows,” Baker said. “I am honored to have been offered this opportunity and feel it is the right time in my career to make the transition.”

Baker has accepted the position of regional director of the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Office of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He will be one of 10 HHS regional directors across the country with a region that includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

His responsibilities will include ensuring HHS maintains close contact with federal, state, local and tribal partners and addresses the needs of communities and individuals served through the HHS programs and policies.

Baker, who served 25 years in the General Assembly, served as chairman of the House Health Committee.

“To those I have served in the 68th District, I am grateful for your faith in me and will continue to serve you in my new position,” continued Baker. “I would also like to thank the president and the secretary of HHS and the White House staff for this opportunity to be of service to my country.”

Baker’s district offices in Canton and Troy were closed Monday for President’s Day.

Despite his resignation, his district offices will remain open to serve constituents.

According to the Pennsylvania Constitution, state legislative vacancies are filled through special elections.