Eugene DePasquale has yet to vacate his state House seat and step into his new role as Auditor General, but York County Democrats have already selected their de facto nominee.
Kevin Schreiber, 32, presently serves as the Director of the Economic Development Department in York’s Redevelopment Authority.
“I am overwhelmed by the support and encouragement given to me by my wife, Jen, my family, mentors, colleagues, friends, residents of our community, Mayor Bracey, Commissioner Hoke and Auditor General-Elect DePasquale,” said Schreiber in a York Democratic Party press release. “I want to thank everyone for their affirmation and insight. Eugene DePasquale has done an excellent job representing our District, and I would be honored to serve, following in his footsteps. I will proceed with my due diligence to ensure I am fully prepared to hit the ground running on behalf of our people of the 95th.”
The Democrats are getting a head start, having all but selected Schreiber before a special actually has been called.
The Speaker of the House will detail the timeline for a special election soon after DePasquale officially vacates the office. Most expect that the election will take place in March.
Since the 95th district – comprising the city of York and its suburbs – is contained within a single county, the county party will convene a nominating meeting. There, committee members who reside in the 95th will vote to recommend a candidate. That recommendation will go to the state party which is likely to approve it.
The party solicited letters of intent from prospective candidates after DePasquale’s Auditor win in November. The party’s press release says other candidates withdrew after Schreiber made his interest public – as well as his endorsements from DePasquale and York Mayor Kim Bracey.
“He is heavily involved in the community and is well respected by his peers and colleagues. I am confident this respect will carry forward with him to the Pennsylvania State House,” said York Dems Chair Bob Kefauver said of Schreiber.
County Dems will host a public forum with Schreiber on January 8th. If selected, they’ll officially submit his name after the special is called.
The 95th district has been in Democratic hands for nearly three decades; the party enjoys a 29 point edge in voter registration (57 percent to 28 percent). Additionally, it’s one of the least-altered districts under the proposed redistricting plan.
That said, Republicans tend to perform better in low turnout special elections and a run at the seat wouldn’t be inconceivable, given a strong candidate.
York GOP Chairman Bob Wilson says his party hasn’t yet officially solicited interest from prospective candidates.
“Since we still do not know when the Speaker will call for a special election, and although while we have received a few letters of intent; we do not intend to release any official call for letters of intent until after the New Year,” said Wilson.
Democrats have also chosen a candidate for Pa.’s other forthcoming state house special election, which will replace state Senator-elect Matt Smith. They’ve tapped Dan Miller, an attorney and Smith’s longtime political ally.
Republicans in HD-42 also have not chosen a candidate.