GOP set to choose 48th District candidate next week

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Tom Ryan, a local retired businessman, is running for the 48th District Senate seat that was vacated by former Sen. Mike Folmer.

More than 70 GOP conferees will soon choose the party's candidate for a special election to fill the seat vacated by former state Sen. Mike Folmer.

On Oct. 19, Republican conferees — 17 of which will be from York County — are scheduled to hear the final pitches from the 11 potential candidates and then vote to decide who will represent the GOP in the Jan. 14 special election.

Jeff Piccola, chairman of the York County Republican Committee, said the conferees will be chosen Monday, Oct. 14, which could shed light on whether there are any early favorites in the contest to carry the party's banner in Senate District 48. 

Tom Ryan, a retired businessman, is the only candidate from York County. The others are:

  • Lebanon County District Attorney Dave Arnold
  • Real estate agent Bill Bering
  • Lebanon business owner Nathan Brightbill
  • Commonwealth Partners CEO Matt Brouillette,
  • State Rep.Russ Diamond, R-Lebanon
  • Millersville university professor Charles Greenawalt
  • Community activist Jack Hamlett
  • Insurance professional Randy Hoffman
  • Steelton Highspire School District teacher Stephen Roth
  • Healthcare manager Paul Vranesic

The 48th District covers northeastern York County, part of Dauphin County and all of Lebanon County. Republicans have historically held an advantage in the district. 

Folmer resigned last month, the day after the state Attorney General's Office arrested him on felony child pornography charges. 

The arrest came in the wake of 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.

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