July 4th holiday weekend: Weather forecast for York County

Stacey Duckworth lone Democrat running for York County Clerk of Courts

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
York County Clerk of Courts candidate Stacey Duckworth, left, York County Court of Common Pleas candidate Sandra Thompson talks during a petition-signing drive at Holy Hound Taproom in York City Tuesday, March 5, 2019. It is Democrat Duckworth's first run for public office. Bill Kalina photo

The role of York County clerk of courts is largely administrative and managerial, and Democratic candidate Stacey Duckworth is confident she has what it takes to do the job well.

Duckworth, 35, of Dover Township, is department secretary for WellSpan Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

"Everywhere I go in, I always end up leaving the office more efficient than it was when I got there," she said.

The Clerk of Courts Office maintains criminal records from the York County Court of Common Pleas and collects 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.

Three other candidates, all Republicans, are  running for the post.

Julie Haertsch, a retired human resources professional; 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, will face off in the May 21 primary.

Duckworth is the only Democrat in the race. She will face the Republican nominee in the Nov. 5 general election.

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

Former York County Clerk of Courts Don O'Shell announced in February that he would vacate his position early to take on a full-time director of staff position with the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.

In the meantime, Chief Deputy Clerk Georgine Keiser is serving as acting clerk of courts.

Seeking office: Duckworth said she's been thinking about getting involved in politics for the last few years. After looking over the open positions in local government, she decided her skills would be a good fit for clerk of courts.

"I feel like what they really need is somebody to come in there with a fresh pair of eyes to assess and evaluate and look for the inefficiencies and make them more efficient," she said.

During her time at WellSpan, Duckworth said the York-based hospital chain switched to a single electronic health records provider called Epic Systems Corp.

She said it was a difficult transition and that navigating the new filing system was a challenge at first, but Duckworth ended up being the "go-to" person in the office when her colleagues needed help learning the new software, she said.

Duckworth would need to go into the Clerk of Courts Office and get a handle on how the office currently operates before prescribing any action or policy change, she said, but in general, she thinks her penchant for efficiency would serve her well in the role.

More:List of candidates for York County offices

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

Holistic health: Outside of her full-time job, Duckworth has her own business as a holistic health coach in York City. She's also the president of Community for Holistic Integration, a regional group that provides public education and networking opportunities for holistic practitioners and business owners.

The group is in the process of becoming a nonprofit organization.

Duckworth anticipates coaching clients by appointment in the evenings and said her practice would not interfere with her job if she is elected clerk of courts.

She has a 9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.