Indiana County Commissioner Chairman Mike Baker has announced that he will seek the Republican nomination for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 62nd Legislative District. The district is currently represented by Dave Reed, who has decided to run for Congress this year.

Baker was appointed commissioner in 2014 and was elected to a four-year term in November 2015. Prior to coming to the commissioners’ office, he served two terms as Indiana County coroner and 22 years as chief deputy coroner. He is a lifelong resident of the county and a graduate of Blairsville High School.

He holds an associate degree in computer network management, a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and master’s degrees in employment and labor relations and forensic science. He serves as vice chairman of the Technology Committee of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and is a member of the Board of Trustees of PComp, which provides workers’ compensation insurance for 47 Pennsylvania counties and county-related entities.

Baker is a member of the governing board of directors of the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) in Pittsburgh and chairman of CORE’s Community Outreach and Professional Services Committee and is deeply committed to helping those needing organ, tissue and cornea transplants. He is also a member of the executive board of directors of the Indiana County Public Safety Academy.

Mike Baker

Michael Baker, Indiana County board of commissioners. (Gazette file photo)

Commissioner Baker is a former coal miner for R&P Coal Co. He served as paramedic division supervisor for Citizens’ Ambulance Service and as a helicopter flight paramedic with STAT MedEvac of Pittsburgh for many years.

Baker’s priorities include school property tax reform, jobs, economic and workforce development and public safety.

He said that the people of Indiana County need and deserve good-paying and family-sustaining jobs.

“Indiana County is a great place to live, work, go to school and raise a family. Our citizens have been paying it forward for a long time, and I think we are finally arriving in a place where we will have the jobs and opportunities to help keep our kids and grandkids right here, instead of always seeing them leave home to find quality work elsewhere,” he said in a news release.

“I want to go to Harrisburg to ensure that those opportunities will be fully realized for all our families. — not just now, but into the future as well.”

Baker has been married to his wife, Karen, for 34 years and has four children and four grandchildren.

He joins three other Republicans who are seeking the seat: Julie Anderson, of White Township; Shane Caylor, of Indiana; and Jim Struzzi, of White Township; and a Democrat, Logan Dellafiora, of Graceton.