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As chairman of the Lancaster County Democratic Party, I am compelled to respond to The Lancaster News’ editorial, “Are Local Republicans Taking Over,” that appeared in the Sunday, April 18, edition. The answer to your question is no.
This is not merely a knee-jerk partisan reaction, but based on facts. In Lancaster County, every countywide office is held by a Democrat. All but one County Council seat – Council District No. 1 – is held by a Democrat.
In fact, in 2008, a Democrat, Cotton Cole, won back a County Council seat from Republican Wesley Grier, but that fact was not given much coverage by this newspaper. With the exception of Councilman Larry McCullough, every Republican office holder in Lancaster County won their seat with votes from outside of Lancaster County.
In the 2008 election, Democratic State Senate candidate Mandy Powers Norrell won nearly 60 percent of the vote in Lancaster County and that Senate district doesn’t include Heath Springs and Kershaw.
There is a reason that Lancaster County residents keep electing Democrats. The Democratic elected officials are their neighbors and their friends. They attend Lancaster County churches and they send their children to Lancaster County public schools. They serve in the military during times of war and they help their neighbors in times of crisis. Look at each one individually and you will see a servant first and a politician second. With most of them, there is no agenda or desire for private gain at the public’s expense. Contrast Lancaster County’s elected officials to the statewide office holders elected in 2006. You don’t hear teabaggers railing against Gov. Sanford’s misuse of public funds (or hiking the Appalachian Trail). Where were they when the keeper of our state’s treasury, State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, was convicted of cocaine trafficking? Where were the family values conservatives when Comptroller Richard Ekstrom was caught in an adulterous affair with another Republican candidate, or when Secretary of Agriculture Charles Sharpe was convicted of accepting bribes from a cock-fighting ring, or when Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer compared poor children to stray animals and suggested that we stop feeding them?
These are just a few facts that I am bringing to light, but the fact remains is, where was The Lancaster News?
Chairman, Lancaster County Democratic Party