Coroner, DA candidate kick off campaigns

Christopher Dornblaser
  • About 200 people attended the campaign kick-off for Pam Gay and Dave Sunday.
  • Gay and Sunday are running for York County Coroner and District Attorney.

About 270 people filled the Alert Fire Co. hall Friday night to support Pam Gay and Dave Sunday as they kicked off their campaigns for York County coroner and district attorney.

Gay is seeking re-election for a second term as coroner, and Sunday, who is currently chief deputy prosecutor, is seeking the district attorney's position, which is to be vacated by retiring District Attorney Tom Kearney.

Gay and Sunday touted their years of experience and highlighted their work in the community — especially when it comes to dealing with the county's heroin epidemic.

York County Coroner Pam Gay, speaks during a  campaign kick-off Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at the Alert Fire Company hall in Emigsville.  Gay will be seeking re-election for a second term as coroner. Amanda J. Cain photo

Heroin: The two spoke about their efforts to combat the heroin problem in the county. Sunday said that in 2014 he noticed a lot of heroin cases had come across his desk and mentioned it to Gay.

Sunday recalled Gay mentioning that the numbers of heroin overdoses had tripled from the previous year.

“We had more people dying of heroin overdose deaths than car accidents in York County," Sunday said.

That's what pushed Sunday to create the Heroin Task Force. He said that since then, he and Gay have worked together practically every day.

York prosecutor runs for DA, helped start heroin task force

“We have a duty to do everything in our power, regardless of whether we fail, to attack it head on … and that’s what we did,” he said.

He said the task force quickly realized the heroin epidemic was the biggest issue facing the county, and he added that it was driving the majority of the crime in the county.

“I firmly believe from the bottom of my heart, as a community we can turn this around,” he said.

District Attorney candidate and current Chief Deputy Prosecutor Dave Sunday, talks about the basics, during a campaign kick-off Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at the Alert Fire Company, in Emigsville. Amanda J. Cain photo

Issues:  Gay spoke about some of the changes she would like to see if she is re-elected, such as tackling the high suicide rate in the county.

"We still have a big problem, and we still have a lot of work to do in that area," she said.

Sunday mentioned fighting the elder abuse problems in York County. He said Pennsylvania is second in the country for people over 80 years old, and that draws scammers who prey on them. He said a "scam alert" is sent out by the DA's office to senior centers to warn them of potential scams in the county.

"That's something important that we do. That's something we are going to continue to do," he said.

York County coroner seeks re-election

District Attorney Tom Kearney, looks on as Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township gives the opening remarks during a campaign kick-off for Pam Gay and Dave Sunday Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at the Alert Fire Company, in Emigsville. Amanda J. Cain photo

Endorsements: State Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township, who introduced Gay to the crowd, gave a glowing endorsement of the coroner.

"I can't think of a better person to hold elected office, period," he said.

State Sen. Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg, said Sunday was seeking the position for the "right reasons" and said he was the "real deal." Regan said if he had to take four people on a dangerous mission, he knew who to pick to join him.

"Dave Sunday would be one of those guys, I promise you that," he said.

Kearney closed the kickoff, calling the candidates two "warriors" for the county.

"We need warriors, and that's who they are."

More information is available at Sunday's and Gay's campaign websites.

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