Julie Haertsch, endorsed by York County GOP, running for clerk of courts

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
Julie Haertsch, 62, of Manchester Township is running for York County Clerk of Courts as a Republican.

Julie Haertsch, a retired human resources professional with experience in banking and state government, is seeking the Republican nomination for York County Clerk of Courts.

The York County Republican Committee endorsed Haertsch in February.

"I want to offer the best customer service that we can offer," Haertsch said. "I want to personalize what we can do in putting the packets together for the judges to be able to study the case (and) ponder the case and for the attorneys to present the case to the judges."

The Clerk of Courts office is responsible for maintaining criminal records from the York County Court of Common Pleas and for collecting fines and restitution from criminal defendants.

The office also handles and files a host of other records, including juvenile court records, financial statements from municipalities, bonds filed by tax collectors and constables, emancipations and expungements, among others.

Haertsch is one of three Republicans seeking the office. She will face off in the May 21 GOP primary against Dan Byrnes, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran with a degree in business administration, and Barbato Arvonio, a former senior clerk in the Clerk of Courts office.

Stacey Duckworth, a small business owner and department secretary for WellSpan Pulmonary Rehabilitation, is the only Democrat in the race. 

More:York County GOP endorses primary candidates, breaks long tradition

More:UPDATE: Clerk of Courts Don O'Shell to vacate position, asks Wolf to allow chief deputy to hold job until 2020

Haertsch, 62, of Manchester Township is a York County native.

She graduated from Northeastern High School and later moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where she began her banking career at Zions First National Bank.

After moving back to York County and settling down in Fairview Township, Haertsch worked for a branch of the former Drovers Bank — now Fulton Bank — and Peoples State Bank in East Berlin.

Her responsibilities in banking included regulatory compliance, human resources and commercial loan documentation.

After leaving the banking industry, Haertsch worked for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency as a financial aid provider, with duties in compliance, auditing and human resources.

She left PHEAA in May 2001 to work for the Pennsylvania Turnpike, where she remained until her retirement in March 2017.

"I have a good, basic understanding of legal concepts, (and) I also have an intense background within administration and management," she said. "And all of those skill sets, I believe, will serve me well in the clerk of courts."

The race for the Clerk of Courts office isn't Haertsch's first foray into politics.

She ran an unsuccessful bid for York County controller in 2017, losing to fellow Republican Greg Bower in the primary.

In early 2019, Haertsch announced that she would seek the office of the prothonotary, which handles civil court records. But when former Clerk of Courts Don O'Shell announced his resignation in February, Haertsch decided to shift her focus to the criminal side.

She earned a bachelor's degree in organizational management and later took supplemental classes in paralegal studies.

The former banking professional said that, as clerk of courts, before taking action to deal with the uncollected debts owed to the county, she would want to assess each case and work closely with the board of commissioners, the president judge and other county officials to decide on the best action for the county.

More:Dan Byrnes, son of York County commissioner, running for clerk of courts

More:Former Clerk of Courts employee Barbato Arvonio announces bid for Clerk

"I’m not going in with any preconceived ideal of, 'This is what we need to do, and this is how we need to do it,'" Haertsch said.

Now that she's been retired for two years, Haertsch said her decision to run for office is about serving her community. She said she's already had a successful career and pledged that, if elected, she will opt out of the county's pension program and health care package.

"I’ve been blessed," she said, "and I just feel like it’s a good time in my life to give back."