On Monday, an incumbent Republican commissioner in Pennsylvania conceded his race, giving Democrats control of the county’s Board of Commissioners for the first time in 100 years.
Chad Saylor, the incumbent vice chairman of the Dauphin County Board of Commissioners, announced on Monday that he would concede to Democratic challenger Justin Douglas, congratulating his opponent in a statement posted online.
“The county commissioner election is close, but the outcome is now clear. I congratulate Justin Douglas on his victory and wish him all the best as he becomes the new Dauphin County Commissioner in January,” Saylor wrote in a statement posted to the county’s Facebook page.
Saylor said that his time on the board was the “most rewarding” experience of his career, saying the remainder of his term will focus on adopting a county budget.
As of Monday, unofficial election results showed that Douglas had a meager 55-vote lead over Saylor, a difference of .05% of the total vote. Incumbent commissioners George Hartwick, a Democrat, and board chairman Mike Pries, a Republican, both won reelection to their seats, each garnering about 27% of the vote for the three-person vote.
Dauphin County’s Board of Commissioners has been controlled by Republicans since 1919, according to PennLive.
Saylor was appointed to the board in June 2021 to fill the term of former commissioner Jeff Haste. Saylor spent more than 30 years in government at state and local levels prior to working on the board, according to Dauphin County’s website.
On Monday, Douglas referenced Saylor’s concession in a post on X, reposting news of the concession alongside the words “Happy Monday.”
According to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Douglas is a pastor living in Conewago Township with his wife and three children. He has worked with the homeless population, LGBTQ individuals and those dealing with poverty and has pledged to focus on the county’s corrections system, mental health care services and workforce if elected.
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