Democratic Party committee members have chosen Calvin “Doc” Clements to run for the 48th District State Senate seat, which has been vacant since incumbent Republican Senator David Arnold died from cancer on Jan. 17.
Clements will face North Cornwall Republican Chris Gebhard, York County Libertarian Tim McMaster, and South Londonderry Independent Ed Krebs in a four-way special election on Tuesday, May 18.
The winner will serve the remainder of Arnold’s term, which expires in November, 2022.
72 Democratic committee members conferred remotely via Zoom on Saturday afternoon, Mar. 13, before choosing Clements from a field of four candidates. Saturday’s online meeting allowed each to make a five minute video presentation.
In a Saturday night telephone interview, Lebanon County Democratic Chairman Dan Sidelnick told LebTown that Clements received 32 of the 72 votes cast. Sidelnick added that the results aren’t official until formally confirmed by the state Democratic committee.
The other hopefuls were Palmyra labor and political organizer Laura Quick (17 votes), York County attorney Sandra Thompson (13), and South Londonderry Township resident Ralph Duquette, a Lancaster County Common Pleas Court Special Counselor (0).
The 48th covers all of Lebanon County and small parts of Dauphin and York Counties. Party affiliation among its registered voters breaks down to 50.5% Republican, 33.9% Democratic, and 15.6% “all others” according to Pennsylvania Department of State statistics.
Clements, 70, practiced veterinary medicine for 35 years before retiring. He was founder and CEO of Central Veterinary Associates, a corporation that operated veterinary clinics in Schuylkill, Lebanon, Dauphin, and Cumberland counties. Its clinics in Lebanon and Dauphin counties had over 30,000 clients, and provided low cost veterinary services to area humane societies, spay and neuter programs, and pet rescue organizations.
He is probably best known for his unsuccessful 2020 run against two-time Republican incumbent Frank Ryan for the 101st District Pennsylvania House of Representatives seat.
In a letter to the committee, Clements said his senatorial campaign will emphasize property tax relief, reducing the size of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly, education, and working across the aisle with his Republican colleagues.
“I am a centrist Democrat,” he wrote. “I run because I believe that the time to return to the politics of compromise is long overdue. In my opinion, partisan politics has prevented the legislature from solving the problems of Pennsylvania and has brought the state to the doorstep of insolvency.”
Republican candidate Gebhard, 46, is also a political newcomer. He is the president of Hoaster Gebhard & Co., a Lebanon insurance agency.
Libertarian candidiate McMaster, 46, runs a family farm in York County.
Independent candidate Krebs, 77, served four terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 101st District including part of Lebanon County, between 1990 and 2002. After his first term as a Democrat, he switched parties and served the last three as a Republican.
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Full Disclosure: The campaigns of the late David Arnold, Frank Ryan, and Calvin Clements were previously advertisers on LebTown. The Lebanon County Democratic Committee and the Lebanon County Republican Committee are also previous LebTown advertisers. LebTown does not make editorial decisions based on advertising relationships and advertisers do not receive special editorial treatment. Learn more about advertising with LebTown here.