SHAMOKIN — A Shamokin councilwoman said she is running for mayor after current Mayor John Brown announced he would not seek re-election.
Jennifer Seidel, 40, made the announcement on Monday after Brown announced he would not seek re-election early last week.
“I have seriously considered running in the future, but with this opportunity presenting itself now, and the full support of my family and friends, why wait?” Seidel said.
Seidel, a Democrat, began serving as a councilwoman in January after she finished as the top vote-getter for one of two council seats.
Seidel said she has lived in Shamokin her entire life and her family has resided there for generations.
Seidel is currently the finance manager of Moth-er Cabrini Church and accountant at Trinity Lutheran Church, both in Shamokin.
She graduated from Shamokin Area High School, attended Penn State University, and holds an associate’s degree in Business from the University of Phoenix.
Seidel, who is in charge of parks and recreations for the city, along with Brown, both brought back the annual July 4th fireworks display while facing challenges from COVID-19.
Seidel volunteers in her church and community, along with her husband Erik Seidel, and teenage daughters, Maggie and Claudia.
Jennifer Seidel is a member of the Faith Alliance for Revitalization (FAR) and serves as the treasurer on the board of directors for the Shamokin Cemetery Company.
In 2018 Jennifer Seidel helped create an initial plan to identify and prioritize the challenges Shamokin is facing and in 2019 she represented Shamokin at the National Environmental Justice Conference in Washington, D.C.
“When I was growing up, I was taught you get an education and then get out of this town. Essentially, we were told there was nothing left here for us. I didn’t want that for my kids,” she said. “I saw good things happening here, progress being made, and was quietly doing my part. Realizing that being in the background only gets you so far, I thought I could do more with a seat at the table, which is why I ran for Shamokin City Council. I’m honored to serve the people of this city and will continue doing everything I can to make the vision we have for Shamokin a reality.”
Seidel thanked Brown, who announced last week he would not seek re-election, for his services even though she said they disagree on various topics.
“I look forward to working alongside Mayor (John) Brown for the next 18 months, and showing Shamokin what I have to offer not only as a councilperson but as the next mayor,” she said. “The key to success for our community will be working together and making sure every citizen has a voice. Working together with our residents, businesses, city workers, volunteers and local government, I’m confident we can show the world what an amazing place Shamokin truly is.”
Brown said he was moving out of the city and wanted to give back to his wife.
“We bought a house outside of the city,” Brown said. “Also, my wife has sacrificed for many years letting me do the things I wanted to do and now she wanted to return to where she is from and I want to be able to do that for her.”
No other candidates have announced their intent to run for mayor.