Retired veterinarian wins Democrats’ blessing to hunt open Senate seat

Dr. Calvin Clements was officially named on Tuesday as the Democratic candidate to fight for the seat of the open Senate in the May 18 special elections to represent all of Lebanon County and parts of Dauphin and York counties.

The party’s executive committee accepted the recommendation of the Senate 48th District Committee, which selected the 70-year-old retired veterinarian from South Londonderry Township, Lebanon County, from a field of four candidates at its nomination convention on Saturday.

“It is with great honor and humility to have been selected to represent the Democratic Party in the special elections,” Clements said in a statement. “Although we have a great challenge ahead of us, you find comfort in knowing that I really enjoy challenges.”

Clements will now face competition from three other candidates in the special election that coincides with the primary election – Republican Christopher Gebhard and independent Ed Krebs, both from Lebanon County, and Libertarian Tim McMaster from York County.

The winner will occupy the seat that opened due to the death of Republican Dave Arnold on January 17 and end his term, which expires on November 30, 2022.

The GOP has had a stronghold at this seat since 1983, the first year that the 48th Senate District spanned all of Lebanon County. In this Senate district, Republicans have nearly 30,000 voters ahead of Democrats, with third party and other registrants accounting for nearly 16% of registered voters.

Clements said his top priority is getting businesses and schools open quickly and safely in Pennsylvania, and getting people vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. He also wants to protect free and easily accessible elections, stop the systematic wandering of constituencies and courts, and work to bring the PA back to solvency.

“There’s still a lot to do in PA, the time is now, we can’t be complacent,” said Clements. “I am ready to lead you to a better PA.”

The 48th Senate District includes all of Lebanon County and the Dauphin County parishes of Conewago, Londonderry, Swatara, and Lower Swatara, and the boroughs of Highspire, Middletown, Paxtang, Royalton, and Steelton. and the boroughs of Conewago, East Manchester, Newberry, and Springettsbury, and the boroughs of Goldsboro, Lewisberry, Manchester, Mount Wolf, and York Haven.

Jan Murphy can be reached at jmurphy@pennlive.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JanMurphy.