YORK COUNTY

This year's York County Commissioners race is taking shape

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

Several Republicans, including two incumbents, are officially throwing their hat in the ring for the position of York County commissioner.

Incumbents Julie Wheeler and Ron Smith both have announced their reelection bids.

Wheeler, currently president commissioner and first elected in 2019, announced in a Facebook post in December that she would seek to retain the position. In her announcement, she touted her business acumen and leadership experience and noted the challenges that came with navigating COVID-19.

From left, Virginia Shultz, of York Township, speaks to York County Commissioner Ron Smith, President Commissioner Julie Wheeler and Vice President Commissioner Doug Hoke after the final certification of votes cast on Election Day during the York County Election Board Meeting at York County Administrative Center in York City, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022.  Dawn J. Sagert photo

"Navigating COVID-19 and a Presidential election with new processes such as 'no excuse' mail ballots and an in-person system that utilized paper ballots in my first year was not what I expected, but one which tested my capabilities as a leader," Wheeler said in her post.

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"Since first declaring my candidacy 4 years ago, I’ve made my mission a simple one, be the leader that York County needs. I want to continue to be a positive part of the lives of York Countians, a place where I've grown up, and now serve."

Smith, also elected to his first term in 2019, announced his reelection bid through a Jan. 5 news release.

“Throughout my time on the board, the county has faced monumental challenges and it is because of the hard work and dedication of our many dedicated employees and public servants that we have been able to make substantial progress and keep the county moving forward," Smith said in the release. "I’m running for reelection because I believe there is still work to be done and improvements to be made.”

York County Vice President Commissioner Doug Hoke speaks as the final certification of votes cast on Election Day are discussed during the York County Election Board Meeting at York County Administrative Center in York City, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022.  Dawn J. Sagert photo

Current Vice President Commissioner Doug Hoke, a Democrat, said Friday he would make an announcement this week on whether he would seek reelection. The longtime commissioner first took office in 2008.

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In addition to the reelection campaigns, another Republican has announced his bid to become commissioner.

Springettsbury Township native Scott Burford announced his candidacy Tuesday via a news release.

Scott Burford, Republican candidate for York County Commissioner.

“This is my home, where my wife Joan and my dog 'Dolly' enjoy spending time with our friends and neighbors. It’s about preserving the value proposition of living in York County that motivates me to run for this office," Burford said in the release.

Burford is the chief of staff for the Dauphin County commissioners, according to the release. He is also the chairman of the Springettsbury Township Board of Auditors and serves on the Republican State Committee.

Democratic Party of York chairperson Chad Baker said the party was speaking with several candidates at all levels of government and would have more to share once the petitioning period begins in February. The petitioning period begins Feb. 14 and lasts until March 7; candidates require 250 signatures to be on the ballot in the May primary.

Voters who are registered as Republicans or Democrats will select two nominees for their party during the May 16 primaries. Of those four candidates, the top three voter-getters in November will be elected to the Board of Commissioners.

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.