Erick Lauber, IUP professor of journalism and public relations and longtime Indiana resident, announced he was running for the Republican nomination for mayor of Indiana Borough on Thursday.
The primaries are May 16, and the general election is Nov 7.
Current Indiana Mayor George Hood announced in January that he is seeking re-election for a sixth four-year term. Hood is a Democrat.
Lauber said there are many reasons why he is running for office.
“One is because I think I can do a good job promoting the community to businesses, families and students,” he said.
“I also teach a lot of leadership workshops, including the Leadership Indiana County program, and I’m constantly telling my attendees I hope they will step up and take a leadership position in the community when the chance presents itself. I feel obliged to practice what I preach, so I’m stepping up and running.
“I also know many of our town’s current community leaders because of my various volunteer and community positions, so I’m excited to help out these amazing people by donating my time and talents.”
Lauber is the president of the Rotary Club of Indiana-Midday and a former board member of the local Kiwanis Club.
He has additional experience in the local community, which includes serving as a coach of various Indiana area sports teams, serving as a volunteer teacher at SCI Pine Grove, volunteering with Downtown Indiana and being a leadership council member at a church.
Lauber owns two companies with his wife and was named a Top 100 Business Leader this month by Pennsylvania Business Central. He created the Leadership Indiana County program for Indiana area mid-career professionals.
Lauber explained being elected as mayor would not impact his job as a professor.
“It’s very much a part-time, evening kind of position,” Lauber said. “All of the borough meetings and business is done in the evenings because most of the people elected are people with jobs.”
In addition to teaching at IUP, he is the faculty advisor of IUP-TV, the Circle K Club and the Leadership Living-Learning community in Suites on Pratt. Also, he is the director of the Digital Media Institute, the developer of an undergraduate leadership academy and director of MARTI-CBH, a leadership training and research group.
Lauber already has some ideas in mind for actions he would want to take as mayor.
“I’m excited to help with a variety of projects, including healthy town-grown relations,” Lauber said. “I’m also looking forward to recruiting new businesses and industries to town.”
Lauber told The Indiana Gazette he is concerned about higher-paying jobs, bringing more families to Indiana, a good university-town relationship and walkable, safe neighborhoods.