Workshop on running for local office offered by Penn State Extension

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — If you are considering running for local elected office, you can get helpful advice by attending a workshop to be offered by Penn State Extension early next year.

The "Toss Your Hat in the Ring" workshop will be offered both as a web-based seminar on Jan. 17 and 24 and as an in-person seminar at various locations throughout the state Jan. 25 to Feb. 2. All face-to-face workshops will run from 7 to 9 p.m. A list of locations can be found online here.

The presentation, which is intended for people who have pondered serving on their school board, borough council or township board, provides an overview of Pennsylvania local government and the responsibilities of township supervisors, borough council members and school directors.

Presented by a Penn State Extension educator, the workshop includes instruction on several facets of running for office, such as filing a nominating petition, reporting campaign expenses and other important information. It also will feature a panel of local officials who will discuss why they decided to run for office and recount some of their experiences since they were elected.

"The workshop won't offer campaign tips or strategies — rather, the focus will be on understanding the roles, responsibilities and personal rewards that come with public service," said Peter Wulfhorst, Penn State Extension educator. "The people who run our local governments are our friends and neighbors — people just like us."

Wulfhorst noted that you don't need special training or experience to serve your township, borough or school district. "If you're interested in serving, care about your community and are willing to learn on the job, we'd like to encourage you to toss your hat in the ring," he said.

The workshop fee is $25 per person. Registration information and other details are available by visiting the website or by contacting Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email

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Last Updated December 20, 2016