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Who will seek District 16 seat?

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Long says she won’t seek Senate seat when Mulvaney steps down

By Chris Sardelli

Now that Mick Mulvaney of Indian Land will be going to Congress, who will take his place in the state Senate?
Mulvaney, a Republican, defeated 14-term incumbent U.S. Rep. John Spratt, a Democrat from York, to win the 5th District congressional seat in Tuesday’s midterm election. Mulvaney is halfway through his term as the District 16 representative in the state Senate.
Several names have surfaced as possible successors to Mulvaney in the District 16 seat, though no one has yet made a commitment to run.
State Rep. Deborah Long, R-District 45, who won re-election to a second term Tuesday by besting her Democratic challenger Mary Bernsdorff, said Friday that she’s not interested in seeking the Senate seat.
“Not me,” Long said. “No, no, no.”
Now that the election is behind her, Long said she’s ready to focus on her second term in the state House. She said her first priorities will be looking at issues dealing with transparency, spending limits, tort reform and illegal immigration. She’s not interested in running another campaign right now.
“I’m happy being in the House and ready to serve again,” she said. “I think it would be premature for me to look at that Senate seat. At this time, I didn’t feel prepared to step into that role.”
Long said she’s ready to back another contender for the role.
“I’ve been talking to someone who is interested and I’m behind him, but it’s not my place to make that announcement,” she said. “I don’t want to say anything out of turn.”
There is speculation that York County Councilman Paul Lindemann, a Republican who earlier this year considered challenging Long in the District 45 race, might seek the Senate seat.
“Right now, I don’t know if it’s the right time,” he said.
Before he’d consider running, Lindemann said he would need “100 percent blessings” from his family. He said he hasn’t discussed the issue with them yet.
Lindemann said the office carries a lot of responsibility.
“Whoever represents it has big shoes to fill and one of the most progressive Senate districts in the state to serve,” he said. “At this time, I have no formal decision and I haven’t even spoken to Mick (Mulvaney), which I think is important.”
Lindemann previously faced concerns about his legal woes over the last few years, including a 2008 arrest on a driving under the influence charge, which was later reduced to driving with unlawful alcohol concentration, for which he paid a fine.
Lancaster City Attorney Mandy Powers Norrell is seen as another possible contender for the office.
She was the Democratic candidate for the seat two years ago, losing to Mulvaney in the general election.
Norrell didn’t want to comment on her plans when reached Friday.
“I’ll probably know something next week,” she said. “I haven’t decided anything yet, but I’ll know for sure next week.”
Lancaster businessman Hugh Mobley is seen as another possible candidate, but he didn’t want to comment about his plans last week, either.
“I will plan on getting some things out there next week,” Mobley said. “I’ve had discussions with several people and I’d say, ‘Stay tuned.’”

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli  at (803) 416-8416