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Franklin Co. sheriff tabbed as GOP mayoral candidate

July 12, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County Sheriff Robert Wollyung will be seeking elective office once more, this time as the GOP candidate for mayor of Chambersburg.

Wollyung, who is not running for re-election as sheriff, was named this week by the county Republican Committee as the party's nominee for mayor to replace the late John A. Redding Jr., who died May 21 from complications following heart surgery.

"He's made for the role," said Franklin County Commissioner Bob Thomas, a Third Ward committeeman. Thomas cited Wollyung's 45 years of experience in law enforcement as being an important asset.

"The mayor's primary role is to oversee the police department," Thomas said. "He's also an excellent speaker, which is important because the mayor is the public face of the borough of Chambersburg,"

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"I hope it will stand me in good stead with the people," Wollyung said of his law enforcement experience. Wollyung, who retired from the Pennsylvania State Police in 1990 after 29 years, ran that same year for sheriff and won.

Re-elected three times, Wollyung is in his 16th and final year as sheriff, having announced late last year that he would not seek a fifth term.

"I do realize the mayor needs to be up on all the issues in the borough," the Pottsville, Pa., native said, noting that the mayor only votes to break a tie on the 10-member council.

Wollyung, 68, of 725 Stouffer Ave., will be vying for the office against Peter R. Lagiovane, 60, of 610 Wallace Ave., a retired federal government official who was selected by the county Democratic Committee last month.

Lagiovane and Wollyung will run in the November election to fill out the final two years of Redding's term. Former county commissioner Samuel W. Worley is serving as interim mayor until the new mayor is elected.

Independents and small party candidates have until Aug. 1 to file candidate petitions with the county Election Board to appear on the ballot.

"We're fortunate in the borough to have the quality of police department we have and a heck of a nice chief," Wollyung said of Michael T. DeFrank.

Thomas said Wollyung was the only person to express serious interest in the job, having submitted a letter of interest and an extensive resume. Seven of 10 borough committee members voted unanimously for Wollyung at a meeting held Tuesday night, he said.

"He's very involved in the community and he cares about Chambersburg," Thomas said.

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