Tioga County commissioner running for state House seat

Mark Hamilton

A Tioga County commissioner has announced his intent to seek the state’s 68th Legislative House seat, which represents Tioga County, western Bradford County and part of Potter County.

Mark Hamilton, a Republican, said his working knowledge of the district, his leadership experience, and “deep commitment to fiscally responsible management” qualify him to serve in the state House.

Hamilton, who has served 14 years as commissioner, noted his work to bring Tioga County to debt free status, resulting in balanced budgets and no tax increases for eight years.

Among the issues that concern him are the lack of emergency response volunteers. He said people need to be safer.

“I am part of the SR (Senate Resolution) 6 Commission,” Hamilton, an experienced volunteer firefighter and EMT, said. “I have already introduced possible recommendations to the state.”

Hamilton said the statewide opioid epidemic, which has also impacted rural communities in the 68th District, needs to be addressed.

The drug problems have helped create the need for increased foster care services, with more children being removed from homes of drug addicted parents.

Hamilton said changes are needed in Harrisburg.

“Civility across the aisle is one thing in order to get something accomplished,” he said.

Hamilton said Matt Baker, who vacated the 68th House seat last week, did a good job as a lawmaker.

“Matt Baker was just a wonderful man,” he said. “If you have the perfect picture of a politician, he would have been one. I do have big shoes to fill, but I feel I am up to doing that. He was very well liked.”

Hamilton has served as president of the County Commissioners’ Association of Pennsylvania. He noted that experience gave him the opportunity to work with lawmakers to deliver funding for Tioga and neighboring counties.

He also coordinated with commissioners across the state to bring about Act 13, resulting in millions of dollars into the district.

He has served on the board of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga Counties Area Agency on Aging and on the state’s Firearms Education and Training Commission.

As a former dairy farmer, he feels he has a keen understanding of the difficulties of farmers in the region.

“Public service has been a way of life for me and it would be an honor and privilege to follow such a great leader as Matt Baker,” he said.