York County Dems express interest in running for office

Christopher Dornblaser

Last month, after Donald Trump won the presidency, local Democrats reached out to their  York County branch to express dissatisfaction with the election results, and some even showed an interest in becoming more involved politically.

That's typical after each election, said Chad Baker, chair of Democratic Party of York County. However, this year saw many more people expressing those sentiments.

"I will say, for a lot of Democrats, this was a rude awakening," Baker said.

On Thursday night, the York County Democrats held a seminar at the Teamsters Local 776 building, explaining the basics of how to run for office, and about 15 people stopped for the two-hour session.

Getting started: Baker led the meeting, where he explained ways to get started politically, such as petitioning and running in primary elections.

Baker emphasized things for potential candidates to do, such as meeting face to face with potential voters.

"That one on one, you cannot stress how important that one on one is," he said.

He added that for some positions people might be running for, such as school board member, going door-to-door would be a surprise to many people who might not have had a visit from a candidate before.

"Doing some outreach goes a long way," Baker said.

Baker also added that going door to door could mean coming into contact with people who are unhappy with the candidate in front of them.

"Be prepared, you're going into a very uncertain environment," he said.

Among the things he talked about was securing the vote. Baker said it is important to make sure the local Democratic Party members support them as well as people who are not affiliated with the party. Being that York County is primarily Republican, he said getting support from the other party also is crucial.

"You do need to get some Republican crossover," Baker said.

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'Learning experience': Among those in the seminar was Delma Rivera-Lytle, of Springfield Township. Rivera-Lytle said she was interested in pursuing public office but had not decided what position she would run for. She said she's always helped out in the community, and seeking a public position would be a natural progression of that.

"This was a great learning experience," she said of the meeting.

One thing she highlighted was that Baker said some people running for certain positions have to self-fund their campaign.

"I think many people might not know that," Rivera-Lytle said.

Ashleigh Sharland, of Spring Garden Township, and Blade Kline, of Yorkanna, also attended the event.

Sharland and Kline are both political science majors at York College, and each of them had different reasons for attending. Kline, a junior, said he hopes to one day pursue a local position.

"I've always loved politics," Kline said, adding that he felt getting involved is a good way to help the community.

Sharland, a senior, was learning how running for a position is organized.

"I'd rather run a campaign," she said.

Sharland said the event helped organize the processes involved in running for office.

Next step: Baker said that after the initial meeting, the attendees who expressed interest will most likely be split into two groups, depending on what level of office they would like to pursue. From there, they will continue to meet on a bi-monthly basis.

For more information on York County Democrats, check their website,, or their Facebook page.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.