Sandra Thompson, another member of 'Grandview Five,' again running for judge
A group of African American women were asked to leave, and police eventually called to enforce that request, at Grandview Golf Course on Saturday, April 21. Wochit
Sandra Thompson is once again running for judge on the York County Court of Common Pleas, making her the third woman from last year's infamous Grandview Golf Course incident to run for a county office.
Thompson, a Democrat from Springettsbury Township who is cross-filing, announced her bid Saturday, Feb. 16. With her announcement, a majority of the five women from the "Grandview Five" are now on the May 21 primary election ballot.
The group of African-American female golfers, known as Sisters in the Fairway, last year alleged discrimination at Dover Township's Grandview Golf Course after being asked to leave for alleged slow pace of play — and having the cops called on them twice.
"(The incident) made me doubt myself," Thompson said. "But you need to be a banner to the youth and show them it doesn't matter what you experience; pick yourself back up, get back out there and move forward and press on toward your goals."
The two other members of the group involved in the incident that garnered national attention and prompted Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission hearings are York County board of commissioners candidate Karen Crosby and county prothonotary candidate Sandra Harrison.
But Thompson's run is her third bid for judge — she made it to the general election in 2009 and 2017 — this time to fill the vacancy left by Judge John S. Kennedy's retirement in December 2017.
Since 2003, Thompson has run a small law office in York City where she represents clients in a range of cases, including business, civil rights and criminal. She is also head of the York NAACP.
Thompson's legal experience dates back to the 1990s. While attending Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Dauphin County, she was a certified legal intern at the state's Office of the Attorney General.
Beginning in 1999, for a year she worked as an attorney for Central Pennsylvania Legal Services — now known as Mid Penn Legal Services — where she handled civil cases such as custody, divorce and abuse protection.
Shortly after that, Thompson served as a York County public defender representing individuals in criminal cases for six months before taking an assistant district attorney position, where she coordinated with Juvenile Probation, Children and Youth Services and more.
As a mother of two who didn't come from an affluent family and has diverse legal and community service experience, her qualifications are hard to beat, she said.
"My thought process is through a broader scope rather than a tunneled vision of merely prosecutory or criminal defense," she said. "That broad perspective is uniquely me."
So far, Thompson will be running against Red Lion attorney Jonelle Eshbach and York City attorney Matt Menges.
— Logan Hullinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.
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