Lancaster County Covid-19 Press Conference

County Commissioner Craig Lehman, reads from his notes before taking the podium, during the weekly Lancaster County Covid-19 press conference at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center in Manheim Thursday May 21, 2020.

The Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas is accepting applications to fill the county commissioner seat being vacated next week by Craig Lehman.

A panel of the county’s 13 judges, led by President Judge David Ashworth, will review the applications to decide who will fulfill the two remaining years of Lehman’s term on the three-member board. Lehman announced his resignation, effective Jan. 7, earlier this month.

The judges will be required to appoint a Democrat to fill the seat, per state law reserving one of the board of commissioners’ seats for a minority party representative. Lehman has served as the lone Democratic member on the board of commissioners for nearly 14 years.

Applicants must pledge that they will not seek election for the seat in 2023 to ensure that the judges don’t give any candidate a head start to campaign for the spot. This is consistent with how county commissioners have been appointed in the past, which last occurred in 2007. At the time, the board of judges appointed former Manheim Township Superintendent Sharron Nelson to fill the vacancy created by GOP commissioner Pete Shaub’s resignation.

Applications are due to the district court administrator by 3 p.m. on Jan. 21. The judges will then select several finalists who will be invited to participate in a “public interview” on Feb. 4 at 1:30 p.m. at the Lancaster County Courthouse. The judges will then vote to select a finalist.

Applicants can download the application at https://www.court.co.lancaster.pa.us/266/Lancaster-County-Democratic-Commissioner 

So far, only one candidate has publicly announced his intention to fill the position: former emergency management coordinator Randy Gockley.

What to Read Next