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Democrat Michael Schroeder will announce a run for Lebanon County Commissioner in a press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

The press conference will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday inside the Lebanon County Democratic Party headquarters at 23 S. 6th St., Lebanon.

“I am excited at the opportunity to bring a fresh voice and fresh leadership to the Lebanon County commissioners’ office, and at the prospect of serving all the people of Lebanon County as their county commissioner,” said Schroeder in a press release about his intention to announce a run for the countywide office.

Schroeder, 64, is a professor emeritus of history at Lebanon Valley College. He retired from his full-time teaching job last year, but said that he continues to teach Introduction to Anthropology because of a fondness for “teaching and learning from brilliant young people.”

In addition to serving as the current president of both the Friends of Old Annville and the Quittapahilla Watershed Association, he is an active member of the Quittie Creek Nature Park Committee and the founder of the “Quittapahilla Creek Garbage Museum,” a tongue-in-cheek project that has drawn attention to contamination in the local watershed since 2011. In 2017, Schroeder was awarded the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for his work with the project.

Schroeder is also the vice president of Lebanon Pipeline Awareness and a founding board member of the Lebanon County Branch of the NAACP, which he serves as secretary.

Schroeder was the Democratic nominee in the 2020 special election to replace former state Sen. Mike Folmer following his resignation in the wake of child pornography charges, for which he was later found guilty. Schroeder was selected for that election by the Democratic committee from a field of candidates that included now-Democratic chairman Matthew Duvall, Laura Quick, David Lloyd, and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz. Schroeder lost that race to then-District Attorney David Arnold, who was in the office just under a year before he died tragically at age 49 from brain cancer. The seat was subsequently filled by sitting state Sen. Chris Gebhard, who defeated Democrat Calvin Clements in a May 2021 special election.

Schroeder’s 2020 run provides some hints as to what we may expect from this campaign.

“I don’t think that this race will be won using the conventional playbook,” he said of the 2020 special election race. “It’s going to be about registering new voters, getting people fired up about the election reaching out to communities of color, the Latino community, and really reaching out and talking to people about the issues that matter to them.”

Schroeder is fluent in Spanish and a member of the Nicaraguan Academy of Geography and History. You can find his full academic CV here.

“Toward the top of my list of the things I treasure about Lebanon County are its open spaces, light traffic, and people’s deep connection to the land,” he said previewing his priorities for the race. “But all that’s being threatened by the rapid expansion of warehouses, commercial developments, and truck traffic around the county.”

“I am a strong advocate for responsible, sustainable growth that creates good-paying jobs and enhances the well-being of everyday people, not growth for growth’s sake regardless of the human or environmental consequences.”

Schroeder will face at least two other Democratic candidates in the May primary election, including long-time commissioner Litz, who is running for her seventh term, and first-time candidate Cindy Barry Dubbs.

Read More: Litz announces run for seventh term as county commissioner; Dubbs joins ticket

Pennsylvania law requires that county commissions have minority party representation, guaranteeing the Democrats a seat on the board.

As for the GOP, Commissioners Bob Phillips and Mike Kuhn previously announced re-election bids. Phillips will run with Swatara Township supervisor Bill Bering. To LebTown’s knowledge at present, no other candidates have yet announced their intention to seek the office.

Schroeder lives in South Annville Township with his wife, Karen Feather. They have two grown children and three grandchildren.

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