2nd write-in candidate for Dallastown-area House seat

Greg Gross

A second Democrat has announced a write-in bid for the Dallastown-area state House seat.

Joe Stafford, 69, of York Township, is hoping to receive the needed 300 write-in votes during the April 26 primary to appear on the ballot for the November election for the 93rd House District.

He's running on a platform to hold school districts accountable for their budgets  by having them justify spending. Salaries and staffing have gotten out of control over the last 20 years, causing budgets to inflate drastically, Stafford said.

On the state funding side, Stafford said he wants to hold the Department of Education and the General Assembly accountable as well, and he wants the department to provide better budgetary guidance to districts.

Stafford intended to run for the seat in 2012, when it was held by Republican Ron Miller, but came up short in collecting the required allotment of signatures on his nomination petition. He's running this year because he believes he has a chance to make an impact.

"This, for me, is a time in my life when I can make a difference,"  Stafford said.

The candidate: Stafford is a native of New Jersey but has lived in York Township since the late 1970s. He's a Vietnam War-era veteran of the U.S. Navy and holds a business management degree from York College and a paralegal certificate from Penn State.

Stafford previously owned Access Helpers, a York Township-based business through which he repaired wheelchairs, scooters and other medical devices. He's the unpaid executive director of the nonprofit Bicycle Access Council, which advocates for bicyclists.

Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York Township, is in her first term representing the 93rd House District. She was first elected  in 2014 and is seeking a second term this election.

Democrat Shawn Little, a 29-year-old teacher at Eastern York Middle School, has also launched a write-in campaign for the seat. Minor party and nonaffiliated candidates have until Aug. 1 to file nomination papers to run for offices.

The 93rd District includes Fawn, East Hopewell, Hopewell, North Hopewell, Springfield and York townships and Crossroads, Dallastown, Fawn Grove, Jacobus, Loganville, Seven Valleys, Shrewsbury, Stewartstown, Winterstown and Yoe boroughs.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.