Primary election day is Tuesday, May 18, but voters in Lebanon, York, and Dauphin Counties have a special election to fill the State Senate seat vacated by the late Dave Arnold.
Four men are running for the seat, and will serve the remainder of the term.
Chris Gebhard is the Republican candidate in a heavily Republican district. “People are like this is a shoe in. You don’t have anything to worry about, but I’ve never done this before,” said Gebhard.
Gebhard is a political newcomer. He owns an insurance company. He says Governor Wolf’s handling of the pandemic “heavy-handed.” He feels businesses, not the government, should lead the way. “I’m going to create an environment that is safe for people and welcome for people because if I don’t they won’t be my client anymore and I’ll be out of business,” Gebhard said.
Democrat Doc Clements blasted Lebanon Republicans’ defiance of shutdown orders during the pandemic. “This was ground zero for the groundswell of lets not get along,” said Clements.
Clements is a retired veterinarian who promises a more civilized tone in Harrisburg. “I find it unconscionable that we have people who are our leaders that are willing to defy the principles of medicine and science for those of politics and agenda,” he said.
“Most people are a lot more libertarian than they think they are,” said Tim McMaster, the Libertarian candidate. He’s a York County goat farmer and IT analyst. He’s also a former professional wrestler. He says Republicans and Democrats put on a show at the Capitol only to back-slap afterward. “They are two wings of the same corrupt bird,” he said.
McMaster has a unique pitch to voters. “Why not take a chance, vote libertarian, and see what I can do? If you don’t like me at the end of 18 months, fire me. Boot me out and I’ll go back to raising goats.”
Ed Krebs is a proud Centrist, according to his website. He’s running now as an Independent, but served in the State House as a Democrat and then as a Republican from 1992-2002.
Krebs did not respond to repeated requests for an interview, but his website says fair re-districting would be a top priority.
Four candidates. One seat. Voters, the choice is yours.