Sheriff Keuerleber survives tough primary, but rematch might loom

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

Sheriff Rich Keuerleber fended off a challenge by one of his former deputies in Tuesday's Republican primary, but the sheriff could be in for a general election rematch.

Keuerleber won 52.45% of Republican votes, with challenger Shane Becker taking 47.45% of the vote.

But there are also 959 write-in votes cast on the Democratic ballot, and those results won't be known for more than a week.

If it turns out Becker received at least 250 of those write-ins, he would qualify to be on the November election ballot as a Democrat. And he said Tuesday he intends to run if that's the case.

Keuerleber said he preferred not to comment about a possible rematch until all of the write-in votes have been counted.

"Some of those also could be my votes," Keuerleber said. "I don’t like to talk about the hypotheticals."

The write-in votes will be tallied by Monday, June 3, when the county files its preliminary certification of the election results, said Nikki Suchanic, director of elections and voter registration.

Becker, 56, of Spring Garden Township, said he needed to be up early for work Wednesday and didn't stay up Tuesday night to see the final result.

"I'll read about it tomorrow and see where we're at," Becker said late Tuesday. "I'm sure there'll be enough votes that I can go into the general election, and that's where I'll be."

Incumbent Sheriff Richard Keuerleber gets a hug after winning the primary, Tuesday, May 21, 2019.
John A. Pavoncello photo

He said he joined the race at the urging of his former colleagues in the York County Sheriff's Department and because of his own frustration with Keuerleber's leadership over the past several years.

Becker left the York County Sheriff's Department last summer and took a job as a deputy in Adams County in anticipation of his campaign.

Keuerleber, 59, of Dover Township, is in his third term as sheriff.

After the results came in Tuesday night, the sheriff said he felt confident going into the race.

"I did everything I had to do the last 12 years in office," he said. "The voters have spoken."

Prior to taking the top office, Keuerleber served 12 years as assistant chief deputy and six years as a deputy sheriff, amounting to a nearly 30-year tenure in the department.

Shane Becker awaited the results of the GOP primary on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (John Pavoncello photo)