I feel a need to comment on the controversy about governor candidate Tom Wolf's sensitivity to minorities. This is being questioned by some of his Democratic primary opponents regarding the controversy that erupted in 2001 as the "York riots case" unfolded against former York Mayor Charlie Robertson and others.

As editor and publisher of the York Daily Record at that time, I was one of two publishers targeted in what we simply referred to as "the letter," which community business leaders sent to the owners of the YDR and The York Dispatch, asking us, in essence, to back off our coverage.

Tom, a major supporter of Mayor Robertson, was one of the signers. I believe it was agonizing for Tom to be caught in the middle of the riots case, which raised issues far more consequential for the community than a letter to the local newspaper owners. (According to reports, he now believes signing the letter was a mistake.)

There was no question York was getting bad publicity as national media members parachuted into town to write about the case until something juicier came along. Emotions were intense. It was a case that touched the city's heart and soul.

I felt then, and I feel now, that the Dispatch and the Daily Record were right to pursue the story.

I think the time was overdue to move past a belief I still find shocking as a way to dismiss the unsolved murders of two human beings: "They (the black community) lost one and we (the white community) lost one. So we're even. Why dredge that up again?"

These are complicated, intense and emotional issues for a community.

What is not complicated is this: In the nearly 25 years I have known Tom Wolf, never once have I doubted his thoughtful approach to any challenge and his commitment to minorities and justice for all.

Voters' decisions on whether to support Tom should not be swayed by the hurtful political cheap shots his foes are firing.

DENNIS HETZEL

Columbus, Ohio