A North Hills School District board member and the treasurer of the Girty’s Run Joint Sewer Authority Board have announced their candidacy for the Allegheny County Council seat representing some Sewickley area communities.
North Hills school director Tom Baker, a Republican, and Democrat Daniel A. McClain Jr. are running for the seat representing District 1. Both men are from Ross Township.
District 1 is currently represented by Republican Matt Drozd. The district also includes Aleppo, Ben Avon, Coraopolis, Emsworth, Finley, Glen Osborne, Glenfield, Haysville, Kilbuck, Moon, North Fayette, and West View.
“After much thought, long discussions with my wife Erin, and after ongoing conversations with key Allegheny County leaders that I trust and respect, I have decided to announce my candidacy for the District 1 County Council seat this year," Baker said in a statement this week.
"I truly believe that we can expect more out of our County Council and hope to be a leader who strengthens and brings accountability to our county government.”
Baker is chief community affairs Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. He has also served as an executive board member of North Hills Community Outreach and the Baierl Family YMCA board of directors.
Baker is also the president of Baker Leadership and the author of three books: Get Involved! Making the Most of Your 20s and 30s (2008), Give Our Passion (2010), and Empowered in Pittsburgh (2012). Baker is the founder and chief program officer of Get Involved!, Inc., a nonprofit organization that aims to educate and empower young leaders.
He was elected to the North Hills school board in November 2011.
“I have never raised taxes and promise voters that I will continue to make the protection of taxpayers my number one priority," he said.
"What I will do are the things that I’m already doing on the school board—like fighting for common-sense initiatives to make government do more with less, work tirelessly to shine the light on waste and abuse to eliminate both, and promote and fight for ways to help local businesses create jobs right here in Allegheny County.
McClain, 34, is also the vice chairman of the Ross Township Democratic Committee. He grew up in the North Hills and was a 1996 graduate of Avonworth High School.
McClain received his bachelor of science degree in statistics from Penn State University in 2000 and his M.B.A. degree from Robert Morris University in 2006.
"To be a great county means safe neighborhoods, affordable and quality housing, reliable public transit options, sustainable infrastructure funding, and economic development that provide quality jobs at living wages," he said.
In a statement, he said his campaign would seek to inspire a public conversation on critical issues and viable solutions that "especially reflect the views and wishes of residents in County Council District 1."
McClain joined U. S. Steel Corporation in 1999 as a management associate and advanced through through various roles before relocating in 2008 to the Republic of Serbia, where he was responsible for accounts payable, account receivable, and payroll transactions at U. S. Steel’s Serbia facility. He returned to Pittsburgh when he assumed his most recent position as manager - internal audit in 2009.
"My private sector experiences, along with my firm grounding in our community have taught me that we have so much to be proud of in District 1 and throughout Allegheny County," he said.
"I intend for my campaign to focus on solutions to our problems and a serious and informed dialogue about the challenge of working together to ensure future economic development and job creation so that all of our residents and communities share in our revitalization."