February 6, 2023 – Ted Kopas today announced his candidacy for Westmoreland County Commissioner. He will campaign for the Democratic nomination on the May ballot based on his work experience, personal ethics, and his love and hope for his home county.
Kopas pledged his “mission and a passion” for a county-wide renewal, while never forgetting the county’s marginalized residents.
“My family and I are proud to call Westmoreland County home. It is a place of boundless promise and opportunity; an exceptional place to live, work and raise a family. I am ready to serve as County Commissioner with the honor, integrity and work ethic Westmoreland County deserves from its elected officials.
“I firmly believe that Westmoreland’s best days are ahead, but we need to seize the moment. And it starts with leadership. I look forward to earning the trust of voters to lead us in this renewal.
“I am a problem-solver and a consensus builder who knows how to make county government work. I have never put my personal agenda or ambition before the good of the very residents Commissioners are sworn to serve. My mission and my passion is Westmoreland County – not the politics, not the perception of power, but to work full-time for the people, especially those who are struggling and often overlooked.
“I pledge to deliver budgets that respect taxpayers’ hard work, balance fiscal responsibility and critical services, and public input. I have never voted to raise taxes.
“I will use my experience in economic development on the local, county and state levels to better engage and support local businesses and manufacturers to grow our economy. I will always stand with workers to raise wages and increase family-sustaining jobs. I will also work to maximize Westmoreland’s extensive and world-class outdoor recreation economy.
“Working with our heroic first responder community, we will improve the aging infrastructure of the county’s critical emergency communications system. We will expand emergency management capabilities to maximize response efforts and better coordinate with local, state and federal authorities. Under my direction, the county will never turn its back on public safety – in fact, we will become a model for the country.
“I have long been a dedicated voice and advocate for those who are too often overlooked – people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Their daily challenges deserve our attention and remind us of our shared humanity. I am equally committed to the Direct Support Professionals who provide critical services and supports to people with special needs, our senior citizens, the addicted, and those throughout the human services spectrum.
“I will ensure free, fair and accessible elections, and protect the rights of our residents to lawfully cast their vote.
“I pledge to protect our residents’ rights, money – and our democracy.
“It is truly unfortunate and disappointing that our current County Commissioners have not lived up to the ideals our residents expect. It is time for a change.
“Over the past three years, our residents are paying more in property taxes, our children and grandchildren are saddled with more debt to keep the county’s pension afloat, and tens of millions in federal aid is wasted or sits idle. We’ve all witnessed in disgust the empty campaign promises that have turned into outright lies, the lawsuits, and the political vendettas against independent county agencies.
“Westmoreland County residents deserve a government that works and Commissioners who are committed to the job. The honor of being a County Commissioner deserves full-time work. It should be treated as one’s lone priority. Commissioners must respect the everyday lives, trials and successes of each and every Westmoreland resident.
“I pledge that one of my first acts in office is to repeal and replace the outdated and outlandish ordinance that allowed the current Commissioners to award themselves a historic 13-percent pay raise over the past two years. This time for county residents was marked by pandemic, not profit.
“I am ready to lead, because I will always listen. I am in the trenches with you. Working together, we will make Westmoreland County a better place and have a county government that works for the benefit of all.”
Ted Kopas, a Democrat, served as Commissioner from 2010-2020, in both political majority and minority roles He recently resigned from the Pennsylvania Governor’s Action Team, where he was responsible for comprehensive economic development services to private sector businesses considering expansion within or relocation to Pennsylvania resulting in new job creation, job retention and private investment.
Ted Kopas was appointed by Governor Josh Shapiro to serve on the Human Services Advisory Committee for the Transition Team.
Ted’s volunteer activities include helping families who have members with developmental disabilities, and increasing awareness and acceptance of people with special needs. He is actively involved in organizations that help support and teach children and adults with special needs, including the Westmoreland County Autism Society. He serves as a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Ted also serves as a volunteer coach for youth baseball, football and basketball.
Ted Kopas, 49, is a 1995 graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He was born and raised in the village of Westmoreland City in North Huntingdon Township. He is a proud Norwin graduate and has been recognized as one of the district’s Distinguished Alumni. Ted lives in Hempfield Township with his wife, April. They have five children, Elle, Alex, Quinn, Jack and Teddy and a granddaughter, Evelyn.
For more information, visit www.TedKopas.org