Rita Frealing


Party: Democrat

Position Seeking: Mayor of Gettysburg

Residence: Gettysburg

Employment: Retired from a combined 20 years in Pennsylvania state and local government, plus the communications and media field.

Education: St. Francis Xavier School, Gettysburg High School, Penn State University, BA, Dickinson Law School, JD

Political Experience: More than 20 years combined in Pennsylvania state and local government, campaigns and fundraisers.

Community involvement: Served on the Board of the Greater Harrisburg NAACP and was on the Board of the Gettysburg YWCA. I was selected as guest speaker for one of the annual Lincoln Cemetery ceremonies. My speech focused on the battle and preserving the nation and at the time of my speech, to join together as Americans. In some instances, there has been progress. But as many recent events locally and nationally demonstrate, there are issues that must be addressed with fairness and compassion.

What makes you the best candidate? Having grown up on the edge of Gettysburg and now a resident, I have the background and experience to serve the borough as an articulate ambassador who is also able to work with the borough council and the police department. I was director of public liaison for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, director of communications for the PA Department of Public Welfare, and director of Dauphin County Domestic Relations. Serving as chief legal counsel and legislative director for PA Senator Vincent Hughes, deputy press secretary for Gov. Bob Casey while also working in his Office of Policy and as director of government relations for the PA State Department of Education has given me knowledge of federal, state and local government relations.

My communication and listening skills are pluses that have been honed by my media background working as a reporter and anchor at local television and radio stations. I also participated in many public speaking events.

What are the most important issues facing the office you are seeking? I would take a three-pronged approach to community safety that would address many issues facing our community.

Become a part of a collaborative effort to support and promote our local police department to provide the best protection and service to our community. I would seek input from the Borough Council, Borough Manager, Police Chief and members of the department and of course, the citizens.

With the pandemic and its after effects, a primary goal has to be helping local businesses stay open—supporting job growth, tourism and searching for resources to ensure food, shelter and making sure our families stay in their homes. I would reach out to local organizations to coordinate such efforts or join in when asked.

How to address loud noise and excessive vehicle speed.

These are some of the many issues to be addressed to make you feel secure and part of our dynamic and diverse Borough of Gettysburg, by promoting: Community safety, Collaboration and Consensus. I need to hear from you about your issues and concerns.

You talk, I listen

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