EDITORIAL: Sears' run to be applauded
Some folks might compare Joel Sears to a modern-day Don Quixote.
He's just tilting at windmills, they might say.
They would be wrong.
Sears, a Republican, almost assuredly knows that the odds are stacked against him in his attempt to unseat Democrat Kevin Schreiber in the 95th House District.
After all, the 95th District includes heavily Democratic York City, as well as Spring Garden Township, West York and part of West Manchester Township.
A Republican hasn't won the 95th since the mid-1980s.
That history, however, didn't deter Sears from entering the April 26 primary, and that's a very good thing.
Every legislative district, no matter its history or party make-up, deserves a competitive election. That's the bedrock that a democracy is built on.
Besides, Sears appears to be more than a worthy adversary for Schreiber.
The 69-year-old Spring Garden Township man has political experience, serving on the York Suburban school board from 2011 until 2015. He's also president of the York County Taxpayers Council, which is billed as a non-partisan advocacy group aimed at holding government accountable at all levels.
He's also a strong conservative, which should provide a clear choice for voters this November in comparison to Schreiber's more progressive views.
Sears wants to eliminate school property taxes and shift public employees from a taxpayer-funded pension system to a 401K-style system. Those are core conservative values, and something the Republican party has been trying to accomplish for years..
Sears, however, said he is more than willing to work with Democrats. He said his four years on the Suburban board showed him that elected officials can work together to get things done.
“You have to work collaboratively and you can't be a dictator,” he told The York Dispatch earlier this week.
Sears also has business experience as the owner of Fleet Technologies Inc., where he's a software engineer. He's also a father, a grandfather and the manager of the Gettysburg Big Band.
All in all, Sears appears well-rounded and well-prepared to challenge Schreiber.
He may not win. History says he won't. But he's not just tilting at windmills. History is littered with pivot points, and who knows, this could end up being one for the Republican party in the York area.
Sears is making a legitimate effort to change things for a district that he doesn't feel is “being adequately represented.”
You can agree or disagree with his views, but you can't disagree with the fact that he is giving voters a viable option to Schreiber.
Welcome to the party, Mr. Sears. Glad you could make it.