Dems support nominees
Dems support nominees BY BERNARD HARRIS, Staff Writer
Lancaster city residents will see familiar faces when candidates knock on their doors asking for their votes this year.
Mayor Rick Gray, City Council members Louise Williams, Tim Roschel and Todd Smith, Controller Bill Andrews and Treasurer Cheryl Holland-Jones are all seeking re-election.
Their bids were endorsed by the city Democratic Party Wednesday night.
Only City Councilman Jose Urdaneta chose not to seek another term.
"The city is a much different place than it was eight years ago, and I believe that is because of this administration and our team," Williams said.
"We have made great strides, and I am asking for your support for another four years," said the City Council president, addressing about 40 party committee members at the Democrat's North Duke Street headquarters.
All endorsements were unanimous, with Gray receiving a standing ovation after addressing the group.
The Democrats have held all city elected offices since 2006. Gray, a former attorney; Williams, a retired magisterial district justice; and Roschel, an electrician, are seeking third terms.
City Republicans have not yet announced candidates for this year's elections.
Also, with committee members from Lancaster Township, endorsements were made for board members of the School District of Lancaster. They were:
n Fanny Castellanos, a real estate agent, Guatemalan native and a single mother whose three sons attended School District of Lancaster schools.
n Adam Schott, a senior policy analyst for a nonprofit, nonpartisan education research firm and a former executive director of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.
n Radames Melendez, a high school dropout who returned to school to earn a masters degree in human services. The therapist at Nuestra Clinica Behavioral Heath is now working on his doctorate.
n Harvey Miller, an attorney and school board veteran who, combined with his wife, Nenita, have served 16 years on the board. He said he is returning to bring continuity and to continue several programs which he started.
Also endorsed for re-election was Magisterial District Justice Janice Jimenez, who serves the northeast quadrant of the city.
Jimenez, whose father recently died, was not in attendance.
Smith, a pharmaceutical sales representative, also was not at the meeting. He was traveling on business in Dallas. His statement thanking the committee members was read by fellow Councilman John Graupera.
Urdaneta said he was stepping down at the end of this term, in early January, so that he could devote more time to his growing photography business.
"The fact that I know I would be elected in November is not reason to run again," he said, adding that he was stepping aside to allow other, capable candidates to emerge.
A party sub-committee is expected to interview potential candidates and propose a fourth candidate for endorsement at the county Democrats' endorsement convention next Wednesday.
Next week, candidates will begin gathering signatures on nominating petitions that will allow them to appear on the May 21 primary election ballot.
nMayor, City Council members, SDL school board hopefuls among those who are endorsed by committee.