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Hallam Borough Mayor Glenn Wascovich is withdrawing from the York County Commissioner race, instead endorsing Democratic candidate Judith Higgins.

Wascovich, also a Democrat, announced his withdrawal to The York Dispatch Tuesday, Feb. 19, citing health issues — of which he would not elaborate — and a desire to remain in his mayoral position and back other candidates.

His withdrawal comes the same day as other candidates began circulating petitions.

"With being in the role of mayor and doing it effectively, I think it's really critical that I focus on that," he said. "And to be truly as effective as I can be, I see myself more in an activist role than on a stage."

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Wascovich grew up in northern Clearfield County and later moved across the state, spending years in the retail business before winning his race for mayor in November 2017.

He first announced his commissioner bid last November, when he said he wanted to expand his influence beyond Hallam Borough. But beginning in mid-January, he said, he decided he needed to focus on self-growth and remaining effective in his position.

The campaign requires a lot of time and effort, he added, which wouldn't allow him to focus on his current duties. Yet he said the support he received was inspiring, and he hopes that energy will transfer to another candidate.

That candidate would be Judith Higgins, who unsuccessfully ran for the 28th District Senate seat last year and recently announced her bid for commissioner.

"As mayor (of Hallam Borough), I fully endorse her." Wascovich said. "She's dedicated and effective. This is a super critical role, and we're at a critical point in our county with the positions we hire for and the properties and facilities we manage."

Wascovich will now focus on the remaining three years of his term, he said, citing positive feedback from both borough and outside residents who have noticed the impact he has made as mayor.

There are now eight commissioner candidates, three of which are Democrats. The filing deadline for the May 21 primary elections is Tuesday, March 12.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.

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