York County District Attorney Tom Kearney said he will run for a second term in office. He made the announcement on the steps of the Judicial Center on
York County District Attorney Tom Kearney said he will run for a second term in office. He made the announcement on the steps of the Judicial Center on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. (John A. Pavoncello)

Tom Kearney on Wednesday told a crowd of supporters he spent his first four years as DA working to improve efficiency in the York County District Attorney's Office, but is now focusing on the community "carnage" caused by drugs, gangs and gun violence.

"Our office, in partnership with law enforcement, will be making an active and targeted push to address the gang and gun violence that pervades York City and is now spilling into the rest of York County," he said. "Dealing with this carnage is critical to those affected and vital to the health and well-being of York County."

Amid a large crowd cheering and holding political signs supporting him, Kearney on Wednesday announced his bid for re-election to a second term as district attorney.

"I want to see a community where all our children feel safe and protected," he said. "I ask for your support to help make it happen."

He said it's his goal "to take down the purveyors of poison to our children."

Endorsement: State Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township, told the crowd he's honored to have known Kearney for many years.

"He's proven as district attorney, he can do the job," Saylor said. "He's one of the finest district attorney's in the state of Pennsylvania."

Kearney's next event will be a petition dinner in Dallastown on Feb. 8, he said, to distribute nominating petitions to volunteers.

He took office in January 2010 after winning the 2009 Republican primary. He defeated Stan Rebert, who'd spent 24 years as York County district attorney.

He said he will stick to his pledge to serve no more than two terms.

Kearney, 60, lives in Springettsbury Township with his wife, Diane Breger Kearney. They have three grown children, two sons and a daughter.

Kearney graduated from Red Lion Area Senior High School in 1970; Penn State University in 1973; and the Dickinson School of Law in 1977.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.