GOP straw polls for judge seat continue
BY DAN NEPHIN, Staff Writer
District Judge Jayne Duncan on Tuesday night picked up her first straw poll wins as area Republican committees vet candidates for the county's single vacant judgeship.
Duncan won in Elizabethtown and Manheim Central while Merrill Spahn Jr. won all seven votes cast among Donegal committee members.
In Elizabethown, Duncan had eight votes, Spahn three, Christopher P. Larsen, the first assistant prosecutor in the district attorney's office, had two votes and defense lawyer Thomas B. Sponaugle had no votes.
In Manheim Central, Duncan had eight votes, Spahn and Sponaugle each had two votes and Larsen received one vote.
So far, Spahn leads with wins in three areas: Hempfield, Penn Manor and Donegal. Duncan follows with Tuesday's wins, and Larsen and Sponaugle are tied with one win each in, respectively, Lancaster Township and Lancaster city.
The votes are nonbinding and lead up to the GOP's endorsement on Feb. 19.
The next straw polls are scheduled for Feb. 12 and will be of Ephrata, Cocalico and Elanco committee members.
The candidates are seeking the seat held by Judge Louis Farina, who turns 70 this year, making him ineligible to run for another 10-year term.
The county's newest judge will be seated in January 2014, joining 14 others, all Republicans.