Newly-elected state Sen. John Yudichak (D-14) is making history in Carbon County.
On Wednesday, just one day after Yudichak was sworn into office, the senator officially opened the first senatorial district office ever in Carbon County. The office is located at 1201 North St., Suite 3, Jim Thorpe.
During the opening ceremony, Yudichak spoke with representatives from Carbon County, including the county commissioners and row officers, former Speaker of the House Keith McCall, and members of the community; as well officials from neighboring Luzerne and Monroe counties.
He said that he is thrilled to be representing Carbon and the 114th district and is excited for the opportunity.
"I want to invest in the people of Carbon," Yudichak said. "It's a growing county and I want to be part of that."
He noted that the Jim Thorpe office is one of three of his new district offices. The others will be located in the Exeter and Nanticoke areas in Luzerne County. This way, it will help serve everyone in the 114th district, Yudichak added.
Some services that will be provided at the new office include information on LIHEAP, PACE, PACENET, low-income programs, scholarship applications and more.
Yudichak, a Nanticoke resident, said there will be help available for everyone, from senior citizens to high school students and families. He urges residents to stop in during office hours and speak with one of his staff members, Bill Richards, who formerly served as an aide for McCall; or Nancy Kibler.
"We want to make sure we're serving the community," he said. "It's about the people who elected me. This district office will be a resource for the community and will help take their voices to Harrisburg.
"We're very excited about community outreach and serving the people and about making history in Carbon County."
Yudichak noted that during his campaign, he stated that if elected he would open an office in Carbon.
"I guess you can say this is my first official action since being sworn in," he said.
Yudichak then addressed his friends, colleagues and county officials, stating that he was humbled and honored.
He thanked McCall for being a mentor during his career.
"Keith said the people of Carbon County are special," Yudichak said. "Well, Keith is on the mark. The people here are very special people."
Everyone in attendance was also excited that the senator has opened an office in the county.
"We are obviously very pleased to have John represent parts of Carbon County in the Pennsylvania Senate," said Carbon County Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman. "He's a great person who cares deeply about all people. I think when the people of Carbon County get the opportunity to meet him, they are going to love him. He's a personable and a caring man.
"The opening of a historic first Senate office in Carbon County, I think, represents his commitment to the people here, and fulfills one of his campaign promises. The senator has been to Carbon County more than 20 times, before and after his election, and I think he will become very popular with our people as time goes on because he has every intention of being a presence in the county. He's the type of official people cannot not like."
Office hours for Yudichak's Jim Thorpe office are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Yudichak replaced the now-retired Raphael Musto, who served as the state senator for the 14th senatorial District since 1982.