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Senate hopeful Harper survives challenge to candidacy

Greg Gross
505-5433/@ggrossyd

The race for a  state Senate seat that includes part of York County remains a four-person contest after candidate Scott Harper staved off a challenge to his nomination petition.

A Commonwealth Court judge ruled Harper, of Washington Township, has enough valid signatures on his petition to meet the state threshold of a minimum of 500 signatures. He's running for the 31st Senate District seat.

Two men represented by Bucks County attorney Lawrence Otter argued some of Harper's signatures did not meet state requirements.

Harper, an attorney by trade whose office is in West York, will face three other Republicans in the April 26 primary.

Also running for the seat are Camp Hill-area dentist Brice Arndt, ex-NFLer Jon Ritchie and state Rep. Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg. All four candidates are Republicans.

The seat opened after longtime lawmaker Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland, announced she won't seek re-election.

The hotly contested race took an unexpected turn earlier this month when Harper alleged he was offered a judgeship to drop out. He claimed Sen. Scott Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township, orchestrated a scheme.

Wagner vehemently denies the allegation.

In York County, the Senate district includes an area that stretches from Fairview Township in the north to Jackson Township in the south. The district also includes a large portion of Cumberland County.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.