Congratulations to all winners in Tuesday's election, and in particular, Matt Pacifico, Altoona's mayor-elect.
The 32-year-old operations manager at his family-owned bakery collected 2,727 votes to win the seat over Democratic opponent John Pentland, who received 1,931 votes based on unofficial returns.
With Altoona in the state's Act 47 distressed municipalities recovery plan and a government study commission examining the city's options, this is a difficult time to step into a leadership role on behalf of the city.
Yet Pacifico is enthusiastic and excited.
"I am young, motivated and believe that I have what it takes to bring some changes to the city," Pacifico stated in response to a pre-election interview question presented by the Altoona Mirror. "I have some great ideas that I truly believe will make a difference in our city, and I can't wait to begin implementing them."
While Pacifico lacks prior political experience, his enthusiasm and his desire to see Altoona improve had to garner some votes. His statements are encouraging, yet the young man also realizes the need for support.
"With the help of interested citizens, business and community leaders, we can be successful," Pacifico added in his pre-election interview.
That's a good statement for every winner in Tuesday's election.
Each will need to work with fellow elected officials and local residents on pursuits to benefit their communities. Leaders who act alone stand a greater chance of failure.
So when the new year rolls around and office oaths are administered to the newly-elected and re-elected public servants, we hope they share Pacifico's enthusiasm about serving their communities.
And we hope they take steps to keep their communities involved in the governing process.
As for the candidates who lost in Tuesday's election, we hope they consider running again. Not everyone has the desire to be a public servant, but those who do should keep trying.
It typically takes a lot of dedication to hold an elected office and make decisions, especially difficult ones, on behalf of the public.
But somebody has do it.