Lehighton attorney Robert Frycklund, 39, announced his candidacy for the 122nd District seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives at this week's meeting of the Carbon County Democrats for Change.
Frycklund and his wife, Shannon, have made their home in her hometown of Lehighton since 2000. They have three children, Cole, 10, Cobe, 8, and Olivia, 4.
Said Frycklund, "It is, of course, with some regret that this vacancy arises at all, as Rep. Keith McCall's commitment and tireless dedication to our District and to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will leave a proud and enduring legacy, and one by which others will be measured for a very long time to come. As an attorney, I have had several occasions over the past 10 years to call upon Rep. McCall for assistance with various issues and state agencies, and his generous efforts never failed to get results. In fact, it was Rep. McCall who wrote my law school recommendation a little over 15 years ago, and his example was a major influence on my subsequent decision to use my law degree to pursue a career in public service. Like many of my neighbors, I was surprised by Rep. McCall's recent decision to retire this year, and I look forward to the opportunity to thank him and wish him well. I come before you now with the hope of both carrying on his important work in the House of Representatives and continuing to represent our District as effectively and as personally as he has done for nearly three decades."
While living and maintaining a private law practice in Lehighton, Frycklund is currently employed as both a full-time assistant Solicitor for the County of Schuylkill and as the Executive Director of the Schuylkill County Tax Claim Bureau. He serves as the principle solicitor for various county agencies, including the Mental Health/Mental Retardation Advisory Board, Prison Board, Planning Commission, and was appointed as the founding chairperson of the Schuylkill Earned Income Tax Collection Committee under the newly-created Act 32 Schuylkill Tax Collection District, which he continues to serve as solicitor. An accomplished writer and speaker, Frycklund also recently lectured on real estate tax law before the Pennsylvania Tax Claim Bureau Association at the group's fall conference in State College.
Throughout his career, Frycklund says he has distinguished himself as an able communicator and a creative problem-solver who maintains a sense of humor and an open-door policy at all times. "I genuinely respect the people that I work with, I listen to their concerns, and I always credit their contributions." He also sees opportunities in the challenges that lie ahead, including a major overhaul of the way that real estate taxes are assessed throughout Pennsylvania. "I labor under the current assessment law virtually every day, and the system is, in a word, broken. There are inherent flaws and contradictions in the real estate tax assessment law, which create an undue burden on certain taxpayers. Those problems need to be addressed immediately." To that end, Frycklund believes that he can work cooperatively and in a bipartisan way with his colleagues in the General Assembly. "I am already acquainted with other Representatives in neighboring districts, both Democrat and Republican, and anyone who knows me knows that if we're working on a project or issue together, their political affiliation doesn't matter to me."
Academically, Frycklund graduated summa cum laude from Temple University in 1993 with a degree in Business Administration, and post-graduation, received the 1994 Temple University Marketing Award for creativity and excellence in the field of marketing. Before law school, he managed a major restaurant/entertainment facility in metropolitan Pittsburgh.
In 1998, Frycklund graduated from Rutgers University School of Law and became licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. During law school, Frycklund worked as a full-time law clerk, interned with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals Staff Attorneys Office, took part in advanced moot court, chaired two Student Bar Association committees, and graduated in the top 25% of his class.
Frycklund adds that he strives to be active in the community, both within and outside of the legal profession, as member and liturgist at Zion United Church of Christ in Lehighton, serving two terms as a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates, co-founding the Education Subcommittee for the regional Pennsylvania Supreme Court Children's Law Roundtable, and visiting local schools to guest-teach and promote reading on behalf of the Literacy Council, as well as to discuss legal issues and career opportunities with high school students.
Frycklund will be seeking the Democratic nomination in the May primary election, and is expected to formally meet with local party leaders at a private meeting next week.