At least four Republicans, multiple Dems eyeing run for Folmer's Senate seat

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Matthew Brouillette, a Lebanon County business and education leader, is running for the state's 48th Senate District seat in a January special election to replace former Sen. Mike Folmer.

At least four Republicans and multiple Democrats are eyeing the state's 48th District Senate seat vacated by Sen. Mike Folmer, who resigned recently after he was charged with possessing child pornography, according to GOP and Democratic Party officials.

The wave of interest in running for the seat came just hours after Lt. Gov. John Fetterman signed a writ scheduling a special election for Jan. 14. The seat represents northeastern York County, part of Dauphin County and all of Lebanon County.

Casey Long, chairman of the Lebanon County Republican Committee, confirmed on Wednesday there are four Republicans eyeing the seat. And shortly after, one of them, Matt Brouillette — a Lebanon County businessman and activist — announced his candidacy.

“Our next state senator has a responsibility to stand up for the principles that made America exceptional, to fight so every child has educational opportunity, to resist the pressure to bow to special interests, and to work tirelessly to protect taxpayers and advance free-enterprise across our district and our state, Brouillette said in a news release.

Brouillette, a member of the Lebanon County Republican Committee, is the founder and president of the Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs and former president of the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternative.

The other three Republican candidates eyeing a run are Lebanon County District Attorney Dave Arnold; Greg Moreland, chairman of the Lebanon County Young Republicans; and Bill Bering, a real estate business owner and Lebanon County GOP committee member.

Lebanon County, which has roughly 46,369 registered Republicans and 25,639 Democrats, makes up a majority of the 48th District, according to Pennsylvania Department of State data.

In 2018, Folmer bested Democrat Lois Herr with 63% of the vote.

More:AG: State Sen. Mike Folmer charged with having child pornography

More:Sen. Folmer resigns amid child porn charges

Multiple Democrats have also expressed interest in the race, according to Chad Baker, chairman of the Democratic Party of York County.

Baker did not provide the number of potential candidates or their names.

Folmer  was arrested Tuesday, Sept. 17, and charged with three counts of possession of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility by the state Attorney General's Office. All charges are felonies. Folmer resigned the following day.

The arrest came following a cyber tip in March from the blogging website Tumblr that at least one image of child pornography had been uploaded to the website on Dec. 28, 2017.

The image depicted a "very young" girl performing a sexual act on a man, according to the AG's office.

Folmer's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Magisterial District Court in Lebanon County.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.