Former Congressman Tim Holden of Saint Clair, joined by dignitaries from the court and state offices along with 100 friends, was sworn in Wednesday as a member of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

The ceremony was held at the courthouse in Pottsville.

The theme was by-partisanship. State Senator David Argall, R-29th State Senatorial District, who was an unsuccessful candidate against Holden for the 17th Congressional seat several years ago, brought up the by-partisanship and said the people in Washington could learn how they work in Schuylkill County. Argall spearheaded the drive which got Holden confirmed Wednesday by the state senate with a 100 percent endorsement vote.

State Legislator Neal Goodman, (D-123 Schuylkill), extended his congratulations and also spoke of the by-partisanship in Schuylkill County.

Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Luke Bernstein, presented Holden with the certificate of appointment. Holden was selected to serve on the LCB by Gov. Tom Corbett to fill a vacancy on the board. His term runs to May 17, 2016. The board is composed of three directors. Currently two Republicans are serving and the vacancy was for the seat held by Patrick J. "JP" Stapleton, a Democrat.

Holden was sworn in by Judge William E. Baldwin, president judge of the Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas, and recalled the days when Holden was a probation officer in the county courts and his rise to congressman. Holding the bible for the swearing in was Holden's wife, Gwen.

County judges and magisterial district judges, District Federal Judge John Jones and Senior County Judge D. Michael Stine sat in their robes. Among the dignitaries were former State Legislator Bob Allen, former County Commissioner Frank McAndrews, Retired President Judge Joseph McCloskey, of the county courts and county, city, and municipal officer holders.

Holden, in a brief talk, recalled of his association with county government. He said his first experience in the county courthouse was being removed for misbehaving, not by the sheriff or his deputies, but by his mother during the swearing in ceremony of his father, Joseph Holden, as a county commissioner.

"I was 2 years old," he added. After graduating from Bloomsburg University, Holden served as a probation officer in the county, became sheriff and a congressman. He was in Congress for 17 years, first representing the Sixth Congressional District, which consisted of Schuylkill and Berks counties, and later the expanded 17th Congressional District which took other counties. He lost his bid for reelection last year.

He is a real estate agent and an insurance broker by trade and lives in Saint Clair.