State College Mayor Don Hahn Intends To Resign When Elected District Judge

Don Hahn has officially announced that he intends to resign as the mayor of State College when he is elected to the position of magisterial district judge, according to Borough Councilman Dan Murphy.

Hahn ran unopposed for the new position and earned a dual nomination from both major parties in May’s municipal election. His appointment will be confirmed when he is successful in the November 5 general election, in which he is also running unopposed. His resignation will be made effective December 16.

Hahn’s resignation comes directly in the middle of his four-year term as mayor. He defeated opponents Ron Madrid and Michael Black in the 2017 general municipal election. If he is elected as magisterial district judge, he will succeed Judge Carmine Prestia, Jr., who will retire in January.

The State College Borough Council has discussed the need to clarify the process for choosing Hahn’s successor at several previous meetings. The Borough Council will now have 40 days from the date of Hahn’s official resignation to reach a majority decision on a new mayor, according to the Borough charter. If it cannot reach a majority decision, the Court of Common Pleas will choose Hahn’s successor. Registered voters will be able to petition Council to explain their eligibility for the position.

Murphy, however, said that the Borough’s Home Rule Charter only dictates the timeline, not the process, for finding Hahn’s replacement, and called for community input as to how to go about choosing the next mayor.

Hahn, an attorney, has been a fixture of local government for over a decade. He is a founding member of the law firm Stover, McGlaughlin, Gerace, Weyandt, & McCormick, P.C. and has served on the Middle District Bankruptcy Bar Association Board of Directors. In addition to serving on Borough Council for twelve years and as its president for two, he has been a member of numerous local committees and civic groups including the State College Borough Planning Commission.

Hahn’s resignation will not be the first pre-election mayorship vacancy in State College’s history. When Bill Welch passed away during his tenure in 2009, Council appointed Felicia Lewis interim mayor before Elizabeth Goreham was elected to the position in a scheduled municipal election one month later.

After Hahn’s appointment is confirmed by the results of November’s election, he will assume his new position in January.

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is a junior English and history major and the features editor for Onward State. He, like most of the Penn State undergraduate population, is from 'just outside Philadelphia,' and grew up in Spring City, Pennsylvania. He covers a variety of Penn State topics, but spends nine months of every year waiting for the start of soccer season. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @messijim.

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