Steve Chronister
Steve Chronister

York County President Commissioner Steve Chronister on Friday announced he'll run for a state Senate seat being vacated, but there are strings attached.

The third-term commissioner wrote in a letter to The York Dispatch that he will only run for the seat in the 28th District if there isn't a viable plan for school property tax elimination passed or being considered by legislators.

"It has to be a plan that I feel comfortable will pass," he said.

Such a plan doesn't currently exist, he said, though there has been no shortage of proposals drafted from representatives in York County and beyond.

Chronister said he was making the announcement on Friday because legislators were preparing to meet for a discussion about school consolidation, which he considers "a total joke."

"What are we talking about here?" he said. "What are we going to save, just a few million dollars?"

Chronister said property tax would be his priority.

He wrote that, if elected, "I will lobby at least one other Republican senator from York County or Central PA to stand firm to bring this way overdue reform to our residents, especially our seniors on fixed incomes."

"I would hope at least one senator would have enough guts to make the Philadelphia politicians realize we can make it difficult for their bills to gain Senate passage," Chronister wrote.

Chronister threw the gauntlet to registered Republican voters in York, writing that he wants at least 1,000 of them to send letters of support to newspaper editors or to his personal email account, mschronist@gmail.com, saying they "want to see me do whatever it takes" to pass property tax reform.

"In lieu of a formal poll, I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing and this is the kind of senator they want," he said.

Chronister is the second candidate to announce, if only tentatively.

Penn Waste founder Scott Wagner said last week that he will run.

Sen. Mike Waugh, R-Shrewsbury Township, announced last month that he has a medical condition and won't be running for re-election when his term ends in 2014.