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Candidate Forum

2023 Commissioner Candidate Forum 

On April 25, 2023, the Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce held a forum to help the public better understand the Commissioner Candidates that will be on the ballot in the May 16 Primary Election.  All candidates were invited and five of the seven participated. Commissioner Thomas is the only Democratic candidate and chose not to participate. Andrea Speck returned the memorandum of understanding that was shared with all candidates but did not participate in the forum.

 Click the graphic to watch the forum.


“Copyright @ Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce 2023.
Any illegal reproduction of this content will result in immediate legal action.”

Sharing of the recording in part or in full is not permitted without the written consent of the Chamber. No portion of the forum is permitted to be live streamed, video recorded, audio recorded, or used in any way without prior written approval from the
Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce.

Huntingdon County Commissioner Candidates were asked to submit a 250-word essay on why they are qualified to be a commissioner.  Their responses are being posted as received.

Commissioner Scott Walls

“As a lifelong resident of Huntingdon County, I am honored to serve our great County and its citizens.

In late 2014, I made my decision to run for commissioner after being approached by several County and Community Leaders.  Prior to becoming a full-time commissioner, I had over 30 years’ experience managing employees and production at Garner Lumber Company.  At the same time, establishing my own successful business, Keystone Industrial Supply.  I have also been active on my church board and the Marklesburg Volunteer Fire Company.

Since serving as your Commissioner, I have gained the valuable knowledge and experience to continue leading our County forward.  My number one concern has always been to manage County government while respecting the taxpayer.  There are many tough decisions that must be made on the County level, many times unpopular, but I have always made my decisions based on what’s best for our citizens, not politics.

As your Commissioner, I am very proud of tackling many long-standing issues to put the County on firmer ground.  We eliminated deficit spending from the budget and utilizing grant funding where possible to help our County’s departments.  I have also taken responsibility for our County infrastructure needs, by replacing the existing 30-year-old 911 Communication System that was prone to failure and lacked coverage.  This was vital for public safety and to keep our emergency responders out of danger.

If re-elected, I will continue to use our County’s resources to help spur economic development and job creation.”

Patrick Reeder

"My name is Patrick Reeder and I am a republican running for county commissioner. I am a Mount Union Area High School graduate. After high school I joined the US Army and served our country with a tour in Iraq. After I returned from Iraq, I attended Lock Haven University where I received my B.A. in criminal justice.

I am a former Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections employee. Currently I am a small business owner, real estate investor, non-profit founder and member of the Huntingdon County Planning Commission.

Huntingdon County has been my home my entire life. It has provided me the opportunities to be who I am today. It is now my time to bring my experience, energy and work ethic to the office of county commissioner.

I believe my education and combat veteran experience set me apart from all other candidates. I also believe my experience working with financial statements, budgets and the community give me first hand knowledge of the issues our residents face.

I understand the struggles and issues small business owners and entrepreneurs face. I understand how property owners see increasing tax bills. I have a degree in criminal justice and 8 years’ experience as a corrections officer giving me insight to some of the local jail issues we face.

In closing, if you look at current and past commissioners—I am confident I am more prepared and qualified. The county needs change and it needs energy and creative candidates, not the status quo of wasteful spending, rubber stamping, and lack of action."

John “Ted” Simpson 

"I have had the privilege and honor to serve you for the last 8 years. I am guided by a professional background involving criminal justice, authorship, and small business ownership. These experiences have given me a unique perspective, strengthening my love for our community.

My focus is simple and atypical. Matters that are important to you are important to me. I am grounded in the ideology that I too am a constituent. Representing your needs and interest is my priority. I understand the challenges facing our community.   I am committed to addressing them.

My vision for Huntingdon County is one of safety, accountability, economic growth, and protection of our constitutional rights. Transparency is important. I will work tirelessly to ensure that our community remains a safe, and enjoyable place to live and raise a family.

I stand passionately committed to promoting economic growth. I will work to ensure erroneous and burdensome regulations are not obstacles and ensure a business-friendly environment that encourages growth and prosperity.

I am a staunch supporter of our constitutional rights

I will serve you with honesty, diligence, and dedication.

I will always put your needs and interests first.

Be selective in deciding what two candidates will member in with YOUR ideals.

I stand alone in a commitment to not raise taxes.

I stand alone in a goal to save money and not spend it.

I stand alone with the goal of bringing good jobs here.

Thank you, and God bless Huntingdon County"

Johnathan Hyde

Hello my name is Johnathan Hyde and I want to be your County commissioner. I am born , raised, and educated in Huntingdon. I bring a unique balance of experience of owning and managing small businesses, working for the Dept. of Corrections, and being an elected official as a former member of Huntingdon Borough council. These experiences give me a perspective on county issues. Growing up I've always seen this County and its citizens survive and I know we thrive. I believe we have great opportunity right now with the work from home job movement and the expansion of high speed internet to retain some of our youth and recruit more people to our area who can make a great city wage and make their checks go further here in our beautiful rural county. This along with doing everything possible to keep and expand on current job opportunities here we can expand our tax base to help keep our taxes as low as possible. Unlike many people in my generation I decided to stay here because I want to be part of the solution for this County and I would very much appreciate your support.



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