by Jonathan Weaver
Incumbent Armstrong County Commissioner Bob Bower will not seek a second term in office during this year’s election cycle.
Bower announced his decision at last night’s Lincoln Day Dinner – sponsored by the Armstrong County Republican Committee and Armstrong County Republican Women – at the Latin American Beneficial Society in Ford City.
“I will not be a candidate,” Bower said. “It’s time for me to sit back, reflect on the past, appreciate the present and look to the future.”
Bower has more than 40 years of public service, beginning as a West Kittanning Borough Councilman in 1974.
“It all started in 1971 when I become a young fireman, 1972 as a casual dispatcher at the precursor of (Armstrong County) 9-1-1. Following a short stint as a dispatcher, I became part of the board of directors at the EOC, and I was bitten by the bug. The bug of public service,” Bower said.
In 1985, Bower campaigned for and was elected County Coroner. He held the position until supporting Brian Myers – his former deputy who won public support – during the 2013 election cycle.
“After 12 elections, I have learned (being) an elected official is not a job – it’s a duty, sworn by oath. It’s not (about) receiving benefits – but about the giving of service. It’s not about me – it’s about the people I serve.
“(But), through the years, the biggest lesson I learned was from my mother – ‘smile, and let the enamel show through.’
Bower recognized his fellow commissioners David Battaglia and Rich Fink during his announcement, and said both have become friends. He thanked Battaglia for teaching him to network and Fink for his continuity and input after being elected in 2012.
Battaglia announced last month that he will seek re-election, while Fink will not.