Two Republicans poised to join York County Board of Commissioners

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Ron Smith talks with Mack Johnson, left, while waiting for the results to be posted at the York County GOP watch party at Wisehaven, Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
John A. Pavoncello photo

Two Republican newcomers appeared set to win seats on the York County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday as the county continued to tally votes.

Republicans Julie Wheeler and Ron Smith received the most votes in the race, with 39,3480 votes and 34,404 votes, respectively, according to unofficial results. Incumbent Doug Hoke apparently beat out fellow Democrat Judith Higgins for the third seat on the board with 21,933 votes.

“What I plan to do for the county in the upcoming four years is, we need to put our partisan bickering aside and we need to come together, because there are 450,000 people in this county that need to have their elected officials stand up and do the right thing," Smith said.

York County officials were still trying to tally the votes Wednesday, Nov. 6, a day after an election marred by problems with new voting machines and long lines that frustrated voters and prompted the state GOP to seek an injunction.

It was unclear as of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday when all of the votes would be counted, said York County spokesman Mark Walters. 

More:Election results: York County officials still counting; GOP has wide leads in county-wide races

York County Commission candidate Julie Wheeler talks with family friend Judy Collins during an Election Day watch party at the Strand Theater lobby Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Bill Kalina photo

Hoke, the only incumbent to be reelected, said he hoped his experience on the board would make for a smooth transition with the two incoming Republicans.

"There are many issues facing the county right now," Hoke said. "We're going to have to sit down and discuss our priorities and our agenda and try to come up with a course of action that will benefit the taxpayers of York County."

Wheeler, as a new face, said she was optimistic the new board will be able to work to better the county.

"I've spent the past year listening to residents in the community, engaging county employees and business leaders," Wheeler said. "I have part of it done. Getting in there, there will obviously be a transition plan that will have to occur."

Wheeler's focus will include creating a strategic plan for the county, working to bolster the local economy  and addressing issues in agencies such as the York County 911 Center and the Children, Youth and Families Office.

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