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District Attorney, History Professor Vie For 48th Senate Seat

Matt Rourke

Voters in Pennsylvania’s 48th state Senate District are going to the polls next Tuesday for a special election.

The seat has been vacant since September, when longtime GOP senator Mike Folmer stepped down after being charged with child pornography possession.

The district covers Lebanon County, and parts of Dauphin and York Counties, and the two candidates who have filed to in it are Democrat Michael Schroeder and Republican Dave Arnold.

Arnold is a known quantity in Lebanon County, having served as its district attorney for more than a decade. He also headed the state District Attorneys Association from 2015 to 2017.  

Schroeder is an associate professor of history at Lebanon Valley College. In its endorsement of him, the state Democratic Party also described him as one of the county’s “leading environmentalists.”

The 48th is a sprawling district that skirts around major cities like Harrisburg and York. Its various iterations have been held by Republicans since at least the 1960s.

Before his resignation, Folmer had held the seat since 2007. He won his last reelection with almost 63 percent of the vote.