FREEBURG – Another Snyder County republican has thrown his hat into the ring for the 12th District seat in the US Congress. Former Snyder County Commissioner Malcolm Derk, who ran for congress in 2010, announced Saturday he hopes to fill the unexpired term of former Congressman Tom Marino.
Derk joins Snyder County resident and current state house member Fred Keller (R-85th, Kreamer) in seeking the GOP nomination in the May 21st special election. Marino resigned earlier this year saying he was taking a position in private business and later said health reasons were a factor in stepping down.
Derk was a commissioner for 10 years, and in his announcement said he was a Freeburg borough council member prior to that position. He has served in numerous appointed and key volunteer positions, and resigned as a commissioner in 2017 to take a full time position at Susquehanna University.
Derk and Keller join at least a dozen people who are seeking the GOP nomination. A March 2nd Republican conference committee vote will determine who the nominee will be. Democrats have said they’ll put up Marc Friedenberg of Centre County for the vacant seat.
Malcolm Derk’s full statement is posted below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/16/2019
DERK ANNOUNCES INTENT TO SEEK GOP NOMINATION
Freeburg, PA: Malcolm Derk, former Snyder County Commissioner, is announcing his intention to seek the Republican nomination in the 12th Congressional District. On Friday, February 15, Derk submitted required candidate submission documents to the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. Derk is currently the Director of Grants & Foundation Relations at Susquehanna University, in Selinsgrove, Snyder County.
The Republican Party of Pennsylvania will select the GOP nominee at a meeting of conferees on March 2 in Williamsport. The Special Election resulted after the resignation of Congressman Tom Marino, who announced the departure was prompted by health concerns.
Derk has sixteen years of local government experience. He was elected to three-terms as a Snyder County Commissioner, completing ten-years of service in that role. Derk also served on the Freeburg Borough Council for six-years. In 2010, Derk competed in the GOP primary to challenge the Democratic incumbent in the old 10th Congressional District.
“I thank Congressman Tom Marino for his service to the people of Pennsylvania and wish him, and his family, the very best. Over the next two weeks, I look forward to meeting with the conferees from each of the 15-counties of the 12th District. My sixteen years of local government experience and knowledge of higher education provide a unique background to serve the district. As a former candidate for Congress, I met GOP leaders throughout the state and know the vigor of a Congressional campaign. I look forward to working hard to earn the support of the 12th District as we prepare for the May 21st Election.”
Derk twice served as President of SEDA-COG, leading a 22-member board of commissioners and business leaders. SEDA-COG is an 11-county council of government charged with economic development, transportation, and management of numerous federal programs in partnership with local communities. Derk also served on the state-wide board of the County Commissioners of Pennsylvania (CCAP) and chaired the organizations governance committee. In his leadership roles with SEDA-COG and CCAP, Derk worked with commissioners from each of the 15-counties in the 12th District and became familiar with many of the issues facing the region.
“I look forward to providing excellent constituent services – ensuring our communities have a tireless advocate for our local priorities. I will promote innovation and opportunity by advancing technical education, higher-education, and workforce development as we prepare the next generation of American workers for the jobs of the future. I look forward to working with President Trump and Congressional leaders to support an infrastructure plan that rebuilds our aging infrastructure. In Congress, I will support market driven-solutions and encourage local government innovation.
As commissioner, Derk managed a nearly $20 million budget, over 200 employees, and an employee pension fund of over $27 million. The three-term Republican reduced the county debt from more than $7.5 million to less than $2 million; approved more than $3 million in water and sewer upgrades through the Community Development Grant Program; brought the county jail to full compliance with the PA Department of Corrections; improved recycling efforts; and fully funded pension obligations. Derk was also appointed by Governor Tom Corbett to serve on the Local Government Advisory Board for the Chesapeake Bay Program.
Derk and his wife, Erin, reside in Freeburg, Snyder County, with their two children.