Candidate for Lehigh County Commissioner Withdraws
Dan Paschke withdraws his candidacy for a Lehigh County Commissioner seat, on the eve of the appointment, and throws support behind Mike Schware.
Tonight, when Lehigh County appoints a new commissioner to the seat vacated by Glenn Eckhart, there will be one less name to consider.
Early this morning Dan Paschke, who works as a community outreach specialist for Representative Justin Simmons (R-131), withdrew his candidacy when he learned the search committee recommended someone else for the position.
"I've been contemplating this decision since last night. While I believe I'm still the best candidate [for the open commissioner seat], I respect the committee's decision," said Paschke.
Paschke's withdrawal comes on the heels of recent reports that the committee appointed to recommend a new commissioner will endorse Mike Schware for the position.
Eckhart vacated the seat when he took office as County Controller a few weeks ago. Within a week, three residents – Norma Cusick, Schware, and Paschke – applied for the appointment.
Schware, a CPA living in Allentown, served on the Lehigh County Planning Commission for eight years.
Paschke said he knew the search committee would be endorsing Schware tonight, and that had a lot to do with his decision.
"Honestly I think the commissioners need to be able to present a unified front [when appointing a commissioner]," said Paschke.
Paschke also expressed reservations with candidate Norma Cusick, a former Salisbury Township official.
"I really feel we need a brand new block of commissioners who haven't been in government their entire professional lives," he said.
Cusick stepped down recently from the Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners, where she served for five years, and previously served on the Planning Commission and the Salisbury Township School Board. Currently, she is a board member of the Lehigh County Authority and the Allentown Public Library.
Norma Cusick disagrees. In a statement released today, Cusick asserts a lifetime of politics doesn't necessarily mean "politics as usual."
"It is well known that I have an accomplished record of having made many substantive contributions as well as having participated politically to achieve this goal," said Cusick. "Substantive concerns must take equal, if not greater priority to politics. Once again, through experience I am very much aware of 'politics as usual'. Lehigh County deserves better."
Paschke said he reached out to Schware last night and described Schware as "pleasantly surprised." Schware could not be reached for this article.
Paschke will continue in his position with Rep. Simmons, and hopes Lehigh County Commissioners place "fiscal responsibility" on the top of their agenda. As for Paschke, 25, he's not worried about his next step.
"We’ll see what the future holds for me. There’s plenty of time for me to figure something out."