Your Guide to State College Local Elections

It’s election day! You can (and should) help decide State College’s hotly contested mayoral and borough council races. If you vote in State College, you can find your polling place here. As always, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Below is some background on the candidates vying for office:


The mayor of State College is elected for a 4-year term. It is a part-time position.

Elizabeth Goreham (D)

The incumbent, Elizabeth Goreham, is currently serving her first term as mayor of State College. She is the first woman to have been elected to the office and was previously a communications consultant. Goreham previously served as a borough council member from 1997 to 2009.

Below are Goreham’s campaign promises:

  • She is pushing for an environmentally conscious State College, through the protection of natural resources, the reduction of the borough’s energy footprint, and the development of a sustainable community;
  • She is committed to good “Town and Gown” relations between students and non-students;
  • She wants to maintain “the stability” of the borough’s neighborhoods; she is also focused on “welcoming more diverse and international residents” to the borough;
  • She is pushing for reform of state regulations to better “encourage local entrepreneurship,” as to keep Penn State talent in State College.

For more information on Goreham, visit her campaign website.

Ron Madrid (R)

Goreham’s challenger, Ron Madrid, is the current president of the Holmes-Foster Neighborhood Association an organization that holds neighborhood events with Madrid acting as a liason to local elected officials. The neighborhood includes student housing along West College and Beaver Avenues. He also works for Penn State as its Director of the Office of Military and Security Programs in the Applied Research Laboratory.

Prior to moving to State College 18 years ago, Madrid served in the Marine Corps, where he achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring in 1994.

Below are Madrid’s campaign promises:

  • He is looking to shore up future budget shortfalls to the likes of $2 million;
  • He is pushing for transparency and accountability for the borough and the office;
  • He wishes to ensure that the community is represented and issues are articulated for council’s consideration;
  • He is focused on equity at meetings for all those involved, including residents who come before the council.

For more information on Madrid, visit his Facebook page.

Borough Council:

State College Borough Council members are elected to a 4-year term with a two-term limit. Four candidates are vying for three open seats, with one incumbent seeking re-election. The candidates recently debated student-centered issues at an event hosted by the UPUA and IFC.

Thomas Daubert (D)

Thomas Daubert, the only incumbent in the race, is seeking reelection. Daubert, a retired Penn State professor and long-time fraternity advisor, is a proponent of increased town and gown relationships between the borough and Penn State

Theresa Lafer (D)

Theresa Lafer, a former councilwoman from 2007 to 2011, is looking to rejoin council. Lafer, a member of the Highlands Civic Association, is looking to improve relationships between homeowners and student renters.

Evan Myers (D)

Evan Myers, the chair of the State College Planning Commission, is seeking a seat on council. Myers, the Senior Vice President and COO of, is a proponent of affordable housing and the overhaul of the point system for property owners.

Richard Garis (R)

Richard Garis, a retired police officer and the only Republican on the ballot, is also seeking a seat on council. Garis is also looking to increase town and gown relationships and to balance the borough’s budget.

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About the Author

Ted Hozza

Ted is a senior majoring in Community, the Environment, and Development, or as his friends here at Onward State like to call it, Architecture. You can probably find him at the Phyrst late at night with other Onward Staters if he's not somewhere else editing articles. You can follow him on Twitter @TedHozza or email him at [email protected].

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