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UPDATED: PS4RS Says Adam Taliaferro Will Not Run for Reelection, Taliaferro Refutes Claim

The Board of Trustees all-time leading vote getter in alumni elections (15,629 votes in 2012) will not defend that title in 2015. Adam Taliaferro, a current trustee and former Penn State football player whose inspirational story we all know, will not seek reelection for a second term, per an email from Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship to its membership list sent last week.

“Effective today, Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship unequivocally endorses Anthony Lubrano and Ryan McCombie in the 2015 Penn State trustee election, thanks to their exemplary contributions over the past three years,” the email read. “Adam Taliaferro’s contributions are also greatly appreciated, but he has decided not to run for reelection due to other commitments.”

While Taliaferro was not endorsed by PS4RS when he put up that impressive vote total two and a half years ago, he has aligned with the voting bloc endorsed by the advocacy organization the vast majority of the time. He is also one of several trustees named as a plaintiff in the ongoing lawsuit against the NCAA.

Although Taliaferro had stayed officially mum on his future Board of Trustees endeavors, it was anticipated that he would not seek reelection, a decision perhaps assured by his recent bid for a seat in the New Jersey state legislature.

This announcement makes for some inevitably interesting politics in the upcoming trustee election, which is currently in the nomination stage. As for PS4RS, the Board of Trustees kingmakers will decide on a third candidate to endorse this week. Oddly, for the first time ever, PS4RS will determine the third member of its slate in a closed process limited to the organizations board of directors and the remaining eight alumni trustees. Last year, the PS4RS endorsement was determined by an open vote of the organization’s membership after a candidate debate.

“We are proud of our achievements over the past three years,” the email concluded. “However, there is still so much that we must accomplish as we pursue our mission of fundamentally reforming governance to ensure that all trustees place the interests of Penn State above all else. Therefore, we must focus all of our financial resources and energy into providing immediate support for the 2015 PS4RS slate. By doing this, we will be able to quickly activate a campaign strategy that will spread the PS4RS message and provide Penn Staters with ample opportunities to meet our endorsed candidates.”

UPDATE 10:52 a.m. — Taliaferro is denying PS4RS’ assertion that he is not running for reelection — in fact, he say’s that he never even spoke to anyone from PS4RS before the organization sent the email cited above.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 10.53.46 AM
Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 10.53.54 AM

We have reached out to PS4RS for clarification on how it is possible to claim Taliaferro is not running without actually talking to him. We will update this post when we receive a response.

UPDATE 11:09 a.m. –– PS4RS spokeswoman Maribeth Schmidt responded with this statement: “Every indication I had received from current trustees was that he would not be seeking another term.

“I would not have written that in our process announcement if I had not been told that emphatically. I believe it had also been reported in the CDT that Adam was not running again and I don’t recall that he took exception to that coverage. And, he didn’t reach out to me, or anyone else in our organization, to correct our announcement which was posted several days ago, which would have made sense if indeed we had misunderstood his intentions.

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

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