York attorney Steve Stambaugh running for common pleas judge
Attorney Steve Stambaugh, who's running for one of two open York County Common Pleas Court judge seats, said he's proud of his deep roots here and credits his parents with instilling in him a solid work ethic.
He also said his 34 years' experience as a personal-injury attorney makes him the best judicial candidate to preside over York County's civil court. He owns Stambaugh Law.
"I think being a judge is an extremely high honor. I think it should be a capstone to a career," Stambaugh told The York Dispatch. "And I think it's time to give back to the community."
People in York might recognize the 57-year-old Spring Garden Township resident from his billboards, including those aimed at motorcycle riders injured in crashes.
Stambaugh has been riding motorcycles on and off his entire adult life, usually in charitable rides, he said. As a kid, he rode dirt bikes — including to herd cows at an Alabama farm. He was there visiting his brother, who was stationed in Mobile with the Coast Guard.
"I've been all over the country on bike trips," he said, often taking his stepchildren with him "to see America."
Motorcycle enthusiast: Stambaugh is on the board of directors of the York County Motor Officers Association, also known as the York County Motor Fund, which provides financial support to local police departments with patrol motorcycles "so every department in York County that wants a motorcycle can have one," Stambaugh said.
"We pay to train the officers (and) to certify the officers. We pay for the motorcycles and to equip those motorcycles," he said, noting that motorcycles are less expensive than cruisers for police departments to maintain and run.
Stambaugh is a member of the York County Harley Davidson Owners Association, the White Rose Motorcycle Club and the Mason Dixon Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE). He also served as grand marshal of the 25th annual York Bike Night in 2019.
He is also a member of the Masons, based at Red Lion Masonic Lodge No. 649.
A 1981 graduate of York Suburban High School, Stambaugh graduated in 1985 from the University of Pittsburgh with dual degrees in political science and psychology.
He then graduated from University of Miami School of Law in 1988 at the top of his class, he said.
He and fiancée Louise Duncan have been together for 18 years, and he's helped raise her son and daughter, both adults now, he said.
Lifetime of work: Stambaugh's parents, Virginia and Donald Stambaugh, first taught him about working for a living in the summer between his first and second grades, he said.
"They sat me down at the dinner table and asked me, 'What are your plans for the summer?'" Stambaugh recalled, then broke the news that he would be working at his dad's York-area Gulf gas stations for two or three hours in the mornings.
He weeded, cleaned bathrooms, checked air pressures, pumped gas and did whatever odd jobs needed to be done, he said, and as he got older he eventually worked full days in the summer, seven days a week.
His mother worked for York County Domestic Relations, ensuring parents paid the child support they owed. Stambaugh said that over the years, men approached him to say that his mom was tough.
"She kept them from being deadbeat dads," he said.
Stambaugh is cross-filed, meaning he's running on both the Republican and Democratic tickets.
He's handled personal-injury claims and consumer-protection cases for 34 years in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and has practiced in a number of states, according to his campaign.
Deep York County roots: Stambaugh said his York County roots date back to the 1740s.
"I'm big into history. You've got to know your history to know how to move forward," he said.
Stambaugh has compassion toward victims, having spent decades representing people whose lives were affected by tragedies, according to his campaign. His older brother was killed in 1984 by a drunken driver.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.