David Rowe announced he will resign as an East Buffalo Township supervisor to focus on his special election campaign for the state House 85th Legislative District.
An action item for a supervisor resignation is listed on the township board’s preliminary agenda for Monday’s scheduled meeting.
Rowe confirmed the resignation will be his own. He also said he will withdraw from the fall election for a full six-year term on the township board. Rowe was appointed to his position in March 2018 to fill a board vacancy.
“The residents of East Buffalo Township deserve to have a full-time supervisor just as the residents of the 85th District deserve to have a full-time candidate running to represent their values in Harrisburg,” Rowe said.
Rowe said he was proud of his time on the township board, having never voted to raise taxes, that he “opposed burdensome regulations,” and that he leaves East Buffalo Township in a “strong financial position.”
“I am focusing all of my efforts on conveying my message of fiscal responsibility and traditional family values to the residents of the 85th District,” Rowe said.
The special election for the state House seat is scheduled for Aug. 20. Rowe faces Jennifer Rager-Kay, the Democratic nominee chosen Thursday by that party’s committee members in Snyder and Union counties.
The winner will fill the term vacated when Fred Keller resigned to join the U.S. Congress after having won a special election himself. The term effectively expires at the end of 2020 and the position is up for next year’s election cycle.
The Union County Republican Committee has until Aug. 22 to submit a substitute nomination to replace Rowe on the fall ballot for the township supervisor election, according to Greg Katherman, director, Union County Elections.
The substitute will face off against Democrat Jim Knight, who'll have a head start against his Republican challenger.
Carolyn Conner, the chair of the Union County Republican Committee, said committee members can make a recommendation but ultimately she’ll make the formal nomination.
“Any interested party should reach out to me for an interview,” Conner said, providing an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
East Buffalo Township Supervisor Matt Schumacher served as a Union County Republican Committee conferee, one of nine who voted to nominate Rowe for the state House special election. Rowe’s exit is bittersweet, Schumacher said.
“He’s the perfect candidate to take Fred’s spot,” Schumacher said. “Now, it’s a matter of finding a replacement for him.”
Schumacher said some interested parties have already stepped forward inquiring about the potential vacancy on the township board. He said he and the board chair, Char Gray, intend to fill the spot as soon as possible.
“It might even take place Monday night after David formally resigns,” Schumacher said.
Gray said she'll miss Rowe as a fellow supervisor, calling him an "excellent steward of taxpayers' money."
"I appreciate his well thought out and thorough insight to our many issues and topics. These values and traits will serve him well in his next position," Gray said.
Whoever is chosen, Schumacher said he hopes they’re also interested in getting on the fall ballot and competing for a full term on the board.
Asked why a decision could be made Monday rather than allowing additional time for potentially interested parties who may not have been aware of Rowe’s intentions, Schumacher said “anyone truly interested would be following this to the point where they would make a reach out to us. If you don’t know by now and haven’t reached out to us, then you’re really not following this as closely as you think.”