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Middletown school board's Keating not running again; 3 incumbents, 2 others declare candidacies

By Jason Maddux

jasonmaddux@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 3/11/19

The Middletown Area School Board will have at least one new member starting next year.

Brian Keating, who was appointed to the board in 2016 and retained the seat in the 2017 election for a …

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Middletown school board's Keating not running again; 3 incumbents, 2 others declare candidacies

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The Middletown Area School Board will have at least one new member starting next year.

Brian Keating, who was appointed to the board in 2016 and retained the seat in the 2017 election for a two-year term, tells the Press & Journal he is not running in the May 21 primary.

“What it comes down to to me is that I don’t feel I can maintain the commitment that the position deserves, that the district deserves to have from someone on board, at the same time maintaining the responsibility I have to my family,” Keating said.

There are five school board seats on the ballot this year. School board President Linda Mehaffie, along with incumbents Chris Lupp and Jennifer Scott, have decided to run again. Another incumbent, Julie Gomboc-Turyan, is not on the latest declared candidate list provided by Dauphin County Elections and Voter Registration on Monday morning. Attempts to reach her were unsuccessful.

The filing deadline with Dauphin County Elections and Voter Registration was by the end of the day Tuesday.

Two other candidates are on the candidate list: Andy Kinsey and Steve Shemler, both of Lower Swatara Township. Attempts to reach them were not successful.

The board represents Middletown, Royalton and Lower Swatara Township, the municipalities where students in the Middletown Area School District live.

Gomboc-Turyan was elected to a two-year seat on the nine-member board in 2017. She is a Middletown Area School District graduate and is director of graduate curriculum and student services at the School of Graduate Studies at Messiah College and an assistant professor of education. She lives in Middletown.

Keating, of Lower Swatara Township, replaced Michael S. Richards of Royalton, who resigned, in November 2016 before running and winning in 2017.

Keating called not running this year a personal decision.

“In my mind, it’s not fair to the public, to the people of the district, to the rest of the board and the school administration when I don’t feel I can maintain it at the level it should be at,” he said.

He took on the role initially because he wanted to help his alma mater.

“The position is a tough thing to do. It’s a little bit of a thankless position. There’s a learning curve,” he said. “I just feel three years into it that I have a better understanding and learned what it entails.”

He said he enjoyed his time, and he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of entering into it again in the future when his children are older and he has more free time. He and his wife have three children.

“I think we have great individuals in our administration and on the board,” he said. “Everyone has the best intentions for the district.”