The Gaines’ are Penn State alumni whose roots brought them back to their alma mater’s backyard to establish their careers and family – and to engage in the flourishing, young professional community State College offers. Katie recently completed her doctoral degree in Ecology through Penn State, while David works as an attorney in the area. The two think of themselves as “true locals” and consider it important to be engaged in their community, including participating in volunteer work for local government candidates.
Katie and David are also strong supporters of Mike Pipe, a friend and incumbent candidate for Centre County Commissioner.
“He’s a great person in addition to being a great guy at his job,” David said. “What I like about Mike is that he always has a Centre County focus. His projects all have such a local perspective and to me those are the best projects – the ones that really get at local issues. He knows what his setting is.”
“He also brings a lot of energy to his job as commissioner,” Katie added.
Katie and David both agree that the work Mike completed in his first term as commissioner is exemplary of the work they hope to see continue in Centre County, including revamping the Centre County website for increased transparency and approving and overseeing the upgrade of the County's 9-1-1 radio system from an analog system to a digital platform.
“It was a really practical solution,” Katie said of the website’s renovations. “The change was drastic.”
David also praised Mike’s policies on reforming the Centre County criminal justice system, including his focus on improving treatment resources at the county facility and increasing re-entry programs for incarcerated citizens returning to everyday life.
“It costs a lot of money [to pay for those being incarcerated]. Just from a financial perspective, I’m happy he’s willing to ask those tough questions,” David added.
Katie and David’s support for Mike’s re-election goes beyond their personal support for his policies and extends into volunteer work as canvassers for the campaign.
The couple will host a young professionals' fundraising event in October for Mike and his fellow Democratic candidate for Commissioner Mark Higgins. If you are interested in attending please email firstname.lastname@example.org.