Blanda Nace drops out of the race for York County commissioner

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
Blanda Nace (R) candidate for York County Commissioner, takes part in the York Stands Up bipartisan countywide candidates forum in the Weinstock Lecture Hall inside the Willman Business Center at York College, Monday, May 6, 2019.
John A. Pavoncello photo

Blanda Nace, a Republican candidate for York County commissioner, announced Wednesday that he's withdrawing from the race to take a new development position with  York City.

Nace's withdrawal comes after he was named York City's new chief opportunity development officer. For the last several weeks, he's been working as a consultant for the city's Department of Economic and Community Development.

"The assistance I can provide to the city is almost immediate," he said. "This is where I can do the most good now."

His salary will be $88,544, city officials said.

"What made it really hard is that I think I’m going to win the race," he said of his primary run for the county board.

The primary is May 21, and the remaining four Republican candidates are Ron Smith, Julie Wheeler, Chris Reilly and Steve Chronister.

 Nace’s name will still be on the ballot for the primary, according to county officials.

A lot of people asked  why he didn't just wait until the primary was over to make a decision, Nace said.

"I don’t think that’s fair to voters," he said. "I don’t want to steal their votes just for the sake of seeing if I’d win or not."

For the last several weeks, Nace has been working 10 to 20 hours a week as a development consultant for the city, he said.

Projects already underway include new plans for Penn Market and demolishing three blighted properties in the 200 block of Roosevelt Avenue.

To best serve the community, the city needed someone with the right technical knowledge and economic development experience, according to Philip Given, chief of staff for Mayor Michael Helfrich and acting director of community and economic development for the city.

Nace has experience as the former director of strategic development for the York County Economic Alliance.

"I personally have learned a lot from him (Nace) just over the last several weeks, and he has fit in really well with the team that we’re building in the department of economic development," Given said.

The city advertised the new position and received fewer than 10 applications, Given said.

In the new role, Nace will report to Given.

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