The candidates are now set for the May 16 primary elections. As per normal, Derry Township promises to provide much of the excitement. However, there are other real primary races. For example, the undercard includes …
East Hanover Supervisor
In 2021, supervisor George Rish was defeated in the Republican primary, but now he’s back, running against Keith Espenshade and incumbent Chad Leese in the Republican primary.
Lower Dauphin School Board
Lower Dauphin School District is divided into three “regions” for the purpose of electing school board members and this year, there’s a real race in Region 3, which includes all of East Hanover Township and South Hanover Township’s Precinct 3.
In that race for Region 3’s two seats, businesswoman Anju Singh is running against incumbent Jeff Neely and former board member Jesse Biretz. All three candidates are cross-filed — that is, their names appear on both the Democratic and Republican ballots.
Magisterial District Judge – Palmyra Area
After more than a decade serving in the post, Judge Carl Garver is retiring, leaving an opening in the judicial district, which includes Palmyra Borough, North Londonderry Township, South Londonderry Township, East Hanover Township (Lebanon County) and Cold Spring Township.
The race to replace him promises to be interesting, with retired postal inspector Michael Corricelli, attorney Cynthia Lyons, DTPD officer Dennis Eckenrode and attorney David Warner running. All four will appear on the Republican primary ballot. Lyons, Eckenrode and Warner will also appear on the Democratic primary ballot.
Correction: Cynthia Lyons does have a law degree but has not been licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania. In the same race, Lyons is crossfiled to run as both a Democrat and a Republican. The other three candidates – Dennis Eckenrode, Michael Corricelli and David Warner – will appear on the Republican ballot only.
Derry Township School Board – Four-Year Term
Now, finally, we come to the big show. So, stay with me here … There are 10 candidates running for five, fouryear seats on the Derry Township School District Board of Directors. They are, in alphabetical order:
Lindsay Koch (incumbent)
We’re now waiting to see if some subsets of this list come together to form slates of candidates, much like the successful “pinwheel” slate of school board candidates way back in 2009. However, such slates have no legal meaning, and since all 10 candidates are cross-filed, all sorts of permutations of primary results are possible.
Derry Township School Board – Two-Year Term
Back in April 2022, board member Kip Shaw died, and the immediate vacancy on the board was filled by Lindsay Koch, who is now running for a full, four-year term.
However, the voters still need to fill the remaining twoyear gap created by Shaw’s death, and there are two candidates for that opening: Katherine English and incumbent Lindsay Drew.
Speaking of incumbents, it’s worth noting that four of the six incumbents with expiring terms have chosen not to run again: Donna Cronin, Maria Memmi, Kathy Sicher and Terry Singer.
Certainly, the normal level of controversy on any school board could drive any normal person to beg for a return to some normal avocation … like say, explosive ordinance disposal.
However, the level of controversy on the Derry board has been considerably higher than normal, with disputes over COVID-19 vaccines, “progressive culture” and more.
And while there are other reasons a board member might step down, all four of the incumbents leaving are defendants in the long-running federal lawsuit filed by former lacrosse coach Ken Taylor against the district, multiple board members and one parent.
That lawsuit was filed more than 2 1/2 years ago, and has been bogged down by disputes over representation and discovery, as well as accusations that board members made false statements during discovery. In February, the court set July 5 deadline for the completion of discovery, and if there is a trial, it’s not likely to occur for months after that date.
That’s quite a lot to have on one’s plate.
County Commissioner – Lebanon County
This isn’t strictly a Sun Country race, but there will be competitive primaries for the critical position of county commissioner in Lebanon County.
In Lebanon County, there are three Democrats — Michael Schroeder, Diana Carpenter and Jo Ellen Litz — running for two positions on the fall ballot. Similarly, there are four Republicans — William Bering, Sharon Zook, Mike Kuhn and Robert Phillips — running for two positions on the fall ballot.
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