Scott Ott, 51, a fiscally conservative Republican, told supporters and friends on Jan 24 that he will again run Lehigh County Commissioner in the fall.
Ott is making his second attempt for the county's top job which narrowly eluded him in 2009 when, as an unknown, he came within 900 votes of beating seasoned Democratic politico Don Cunningham.
He is currently a Lehigh County Commissioner, a position to which he was elected in 2011.
“I am running for Lehigh County executive because I want to make our local government more accountable to the taxpayers who fund it and more effective for the people it serves.” Ott said in a written announcement.
“I have spent my time on the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners fighting for reforms that reduced spending, lowered property taxes and made sure government services were actually effective and efficient. Those are the kind of reforms I will continue to fight for as Lehigh County executive because that is what the people of Lehigh County deserve,” he said.
Ott became the first candidate to declare his intentions for the job at a news conference at the Hamilton Family Restaurant in Allentown. The Primary Election will be held May 21.
A day earlier, Ott announced the time and place of the announcement on his Facebook page "Vote Scott Ott."
In the year he has spent as a commissioner, Ott has changed the dynamics of Lehigh County government and raised the level of scrutiny of otherwise regular business, according to a story in The Morning Call.
His politics have been embraced by the party's more fiscally conservative base, while sometimes alienating moderate Republicans and Democrats, the story says.
According to a story on lehighvallylive.com, he feels his short time as a commissioner has been good, but to achieve what really needs to be done, he needs the power of the county executive's job:
"I think we've gotten a lot done in our rookie season, but until we get an executive in there who is committed to reform the way so many of us on the board of commissioners are, we're going to be stymied in getting some of the most important things done," he said.
After his first county executive race, Ott became executive director of the Lehigh County Republican Committee, where he helped organize get-out-the-vote efforts, set up social networking and recruited candidates for office. He said he left the position when his workload increased with pjtv.com, where he hosts news commentaries and developed a series on the U.S. Constitution, according to a Patch profile of the candidate when he was running for commissioner.
Raised by his grandparents, he grew up in upper Bucks County and graduated from Palisades High School. He received a bachelor's degree from Penn State University in liberal arts/journalism.
Previously, Ott was executive director of Victory Valley Camp, a nonprofit Christian children’s camp. There, he said, he helped to restructure the budget, figuring out ways to economize and improve facilities. He teaches adult Sunday School at Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship Church in Salisbury Township.
He and his wife Stephanie have four children. They live in Lower Macungie.