CLEARFIELD – Even in death, no one can beat Camille “Bud” George.
When he passed away in September, popular state representative, George, was serving as Houtzdale mayor. His name appeared on the ballot in that contest for the November election and according to a representative of the Clearfield County Election office, he won.
George, unopposed on the ballot, reportedly received 49 votes, while there were 48 write-in votes for Robert Hanna. 26 other write-in votes went to John Bumbarger and the remaining 14 went to various individuals.
Family members were emotional when told the news.
“It touches my heart,” said Candace Lane, Bud’s daughter. “I think the people just wanted to show him some respect by voting for him one last time.”
“He would think this was funny but would be moved by it,” she added.
Ed George, brother of Bud George, was overwhelmed and choked up.
“This just goes to show you what the people thought about him. He was for the people,” he said.
“He was a good mayor,” commented Edna George, Bud’s wife.
Daniel Nelson, solicitor for Houtzdale Borough, was surprised.
“He was a remarkable public servant and I understand why people would want to vote for him as a way of honoring his service and legacy,” Nelson said.
This creates a problem for the borough who has been without a mayor since September. At an earlier meeting, the council had decided to wait until the election to see who the people would choose. But, as in many earlier elections, the people chose George.
The next step is for the council to vote to advertise the position, Nelson explained. They will then consider the candidates who show interest and appoint a new mayor.
George’s political career began with a position on Houtzdale’s Borough Council and in 1965 he was elected mayor. It was in 1974 that he was first elected to the state House of Representatives for the 74th legislative district. This was a position he held for 19 consecutive terms where “he advocated for Houtzdale like no one else,” Nelson said.
George held the distinction of being one of the longest-serving legislators in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the longest in Clearfield County.
As a legislator, he was a fierce protector of the environment and his district. He was instrumental in the creation of Lock Haven University’s Clearfield Campus, the state prison at Houtzdale and the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Clearfield, according to his obituary.
In his final speech as a representative, George said “next to my family, I loved this job most.”
After he retired from his state position, he was elected Houtzdale mayor again in 2011.