By Alyson Hatfield
ELIZABETH Rementer, the press secretary for Pa. Governor Tom Wolf, virtually visited the Spartan Newspaper class in mid-April. While visiting with the class she shared a lot about her role as press secretary and how she got into politics.
As the press secretary, Remeter is responsible for communicating with the press, going to events with the governor, and making sure the governor is aware of everything that is going on in the media.
It’s a very time-consuming position that requires a sense of patience and a general knowledge of everything that is happening within the state and national government.
Rementer graduated from Penn State in 2002, where she gained her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in English.
After college, Rementer began working as a reporter and editor for Northeast Times and Star Newspapers, her hometown newspaper, and continued working there until 2006.
She never showed much interest in working in the political field until she had to move to Harrisburg for her husband’s job.
Once she got there, she had plans to work at a local paper, but an opportunity to work with the legislature came up and she thought, “I could try this. It just felt like it fit. Once I joined with the Senate it really felt like it clicked for me and I really began to learn more about state government … and I have really enjoyed it and it is something I want to continue to do.”
She began as the press secretary for the Senate’s Democratic Caucus communications office for a few years, then took over as the Deputy Chief of Staff and press secretary for State Sen. Rob Teplitz. She then went back to working as the press security for the Senate Democrats.
After that, she began working as Deputy Director of Communications for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, which led to her working as press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
So how did Rementer end up working in the governor’s office as Deputy Press Secretary?
“I was working as press secretary at Department of Environmental Protection and in early 2020, the governor’s office considered me for one of their newly opened deputy press secretary positions, and so I interviewed and was thrilled to get the position.”
She began her work as the governor’s deputy press secretary on March 10, 2020, just as the pandemic was starting. She became press secretary for Wolf in November 2021.
“Last fall, our communications director decided to take on another role outside of the administration, so our press secretary was promoted and I interviewed with the governor for the press secretary position and, again, was thrilled to get the position.”
Rementer has always been interested in the political field, she said. “I always watched the news, I knew what was going on, I tried to know who my elected officials were.”
When she’s not working at the Capitol she is at home spending time with her two kids and husband.
“I start my day by dropping my kids off at school…” Rementer joked as she explained her daily schedule. “I’ll work until about 5 o’clock then come home and have dinner with my family, then hop back online.”
When asked what prepared her to become a press secretary, she said: “You know it’s about having experience, it’s about making mistakes, it’s seeing what works and what doesn’t, it’s observing and it’s sometimes about taking a step back and seeing the big picture. Looking at what’s good for the public and what is the best way to convey a message.”
Rementer is uncertain as to what lies ahead in her career with Wolf’s term concluding at the end of the year, but when she looks back on her time as press security with a sense of accomplishment.
“I’m very proud to work for the Wolf administration, and to even be considered for these positions – and selected – has been an honor.”
Alyson Hatfield is a sophomore majoring in political science and minoring in public relations.