Swartz
Swartz

The race for state representative in the 95th District could be a showdown between community powerhouses.

York City developer Bill Swartz announced Tuesday he will join two other well-known candidates running for the seat, which covers the city and Swartz's home municipality of Spring Garden Township.

Swartz is president of Sherman Property Management Inc., which manages rental properties, and co-developer of the Codo redevelopment project on North George Street.

A member of the Green Party, Swartz said his campaign will tackle education, tax reform, housing policies and the environment.

"As a citizen, as a businessperson, and as a taxpayer, I see a lot of opportunities for positive changes that can set our community up for prosperity," he said.

Fight for votes: The seat, left vacant when Eugene DePasquale resigned to become the state's Auditor General, will be filled during a primary and special election May 21.

Swartz will square off against Democrat Kevin Schreiber, the city's director of economic and community development, and Republican Bryan Tate, vice-president of philanthropy at the York County Community Foundation.

Bob Wilson, who chairs the York County Republican Party, said the addition of a liberal candidate could be an advantage for Tate.

"If Bill Swartz does get on the ballot...they (Schreiber and Swartz) will be preaching virtually the same thing, and I think that opens the door for our candidate with votes split between the Green Party and the Democrat party," he said.

But York County Democratic Party chair Bob Kefauver said he doubts voters will be left in a quandary.

"The Democratic Party welcomes all challengers and thinks small-D democracy benefits by having multiple choices, though I don't believe at this point in time that a very liberal Green Party candidate will represent much of a threat to the Democratic nominee in this particular race," Kefauver said.

It's not clear whether a Libertarian candidate will also join the race, though party leaders have previously said they're looking for one. Party leaders didn't return calls seeking comment about whether one had been found.

'One York': Swartz, 43, said he subscribes to the work of urban researcher David Rusk and supports discussion about some of the changes called for in the expert's analysis of York.

Swartz said he's gathering signatures to join the ballot on the Green ticket because the party is focused on citizens feeling connected and being involved in their government.

He also supports the party's views on social justice and equal opportunities, environmental awareness, respect for diversity, and focus on the future and sustainability, he said.

"They're not looking at the next quarter profits like the private sector would, and they're not looking at the next election like some of the political parties would," he said. "They're looking at what would be best for their families, children and grandchildren."

Running with the theme "One York," Swartz said he will run a positive campaign that's focused on unity.