DAYTON – John Strate of Dayton recently announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Armstrong County Commissioner.
A lifelong resident of Armstrong County, Strate has been married to his wife, Cathy, for 20 years. Together they have four children and seven grandchildren, all of whom reside in Armstrong County. For this reason, Strate said the future of Armstrong County is of the utmost importance to him.
If elected commissioner, the candidate said he would bring with him “a long history of working hard and putting others first in his life.” A dairy farmer for 20 years and a small business owner for 26 years, Strate said he knows “the importance of small businesses in our county,” and understands the work that it takes for them to survive.
Currently, Strate serves as vice president and manager of the Dayton Fair.
“Most people don’t realize that we have activities happening on the fairgrounds throughout the year,” Strate said. “The main fair event is held in August every year when the fairgrounds host activities for many groups from Armstrong, Indiana and Jefferson counties and beyond. Promoting agriculture is the chief objective of the fair, along with concerts, horse racing, demo’s, food booths and more which draw 20,000 people to Armstrong County during the week of the fair.”
“Without outside help from grants and sponsorships, it would be impossible to put the fair on,” he continued. “This will be an asset to me as Armstrong County Commissioner, as I have the knowledge and experience to find resources to help the county gain funding as well.”
Another important part of Strate’s life is his Christian faith. He and his wife are a part of Harvest Church in East Franklin Township, where he served as treasurer and on the Executive Elder Team, which oversees ministry operations for Harvest campuses in Kittanning, Indiana, Petrolia and Natrona Heights. He also helps oversee balancing the budget for the church.
“I know what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck,” Strate said. “I have been willing to work hard for everything I have and I think the people of Armstrong County share that trait. I want to work to build the county into the best area for the residents to live in, to work in, to get an education in, and to buy homes. I want to work hard for each taxpayer and give them the best effort to support their families.”
Strate said the drug epidemic has wreaked havoc on the county and its residents.
“We need to address that,” he said in announcing his candidacy. “Police are at their best when they are given the tools to do their jobs and the county is willing to work with them to achieve their goals.”
Describing himself as a “strong 2nd Amendment supporter,” Strate said he will work to support gun safety training with sportsmen’s clubs throughout the county.
He also cited the challenge to bring more jobs to the county that “will pay a wage to support a family and provide health care.”
“The people of Armstrong County are hard workers, and I would focus on highlighting and expanding the professional training available for the residents of the county,” he said. “I believe that working in conjunction with the business owners in the county will also help our county thrive.”
“I understand the difficulty of property owners to meet their obligation of paying taxes,” Strate added. “I hope to work with state and federal representatives seeking incentives toward building in this county and holding the line on taxes.
“Working together is critical. Republicans, Democrats, Independents and others — we are all in this together. We are all Armstrong County together. Working with people to find the best option has always been the approach I take. Bringing our county government offices, elected officials and employees together is critical for the good of Armstrong County.”
Strate concluded by saying he believes that Armstrong County “is stronger when we all work together,” and that he intends to put this into practice if elected commissioner.