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Progressive, First-Time Candidates Lead Borough Council Race

Democrats Gopal Balachandran, Divine Lipscomb, and Richard Biever appear likely to be elected to the State College Borough Council following Tuesday’s general election. Should their leads hold up, the three progressive, first-time candidates will assume seats on the council in January.

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, State College voters have cast 8,715 votes in the Borough Council race. So far, Balachandran (2,603), Lipscomb (2,482), and Biever (2,477) have received more than double the votes of Republican Jacob Werner (1,071) with every precinct at least partially reporting results.

The three candidates hold comfortable leads as remaining mail-in ballots are set to be counted on Wednesday. As always, statistics will remain unofficial until certified by Centre County election officials.

Balachandran is an assistant professor of clinical law at Penn State. Previously, he worked as a public defender.

Divine Lipscomb is an adult student at Penn State. He’s a restorative justice advocate and founded Corrective Gentlement, an alternatives to incarceration and reentry program.

Biever is the owner and director of FUSE Productions and Signing Onstage. He’s also an assistant professor of theater at Penn State.

Balachandran, Lipscomb, and Biever outpaced current Councilwoman Katherine Yeaple, current Mayor Ron Filippelli, and former Councilwoman Catherine Dauler during May’s primary election.

Werner, who seems unlikely to earn a Borough Council seat, was the fourth candidate and lone Republican on Tuesday’s ballot. A registered Republican has not won a council seat since 2003.

Should Balachandran, Lipscomb, and Biever win their council seats, they’ll join new Mayor Ezra Nanes as the borough’s newest officials.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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