A longtime police officer in the Elizabethtown area who had sought the Republican endorsement for magisterial district judge said he won’t run for the office now that the party has endorsed someone else.
Greg Wahl said in a post on his campaign’s Facebook page that not getting the party endorsement was a sign from God. He said he also had promised the Elizabethtown Area Republican Committee that he would not run for the office without their endorsement and it is important to keep his word.
“I sought the position because I care about our community,” Wahl wrote in the online post. “For over 30 years, I have been serving the communities of Elizabethtown Borough, Conoy, Mount Joy and West Donegal Townships as a police officer, Constable and church member/ volunteer. I wanted to continue to serve our communities in a new role as an MDJ.”
Wahl is not licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania; magisterial district judges do not have to be lawyers and many of them are retired police officers.
The Republican Party’s endorsed candidate is attorney Randall L. Miller, a former prosecutor who lives in Mount Joy Township and practices law from an office in downtown Lancaster. (He is not to be confused with Randall K. Miller, who practices law from an office in Elizabethtown.)
The Democratic Party has endorsed attorney Dan Stephenson, who lives and works in Elizabethtown.
At least one more candidate is also seeking the office: Dauphin County Prison employee Wendy Myers. She is also not a lawyer.
The three candidates are all trying to get enough signatures to qualify for both the Republican and Democratic primary election ballots. Only registered members of those parties may vote in the May 21 primary election. The people nominated in those primaries will appear on the general election ballot in November along with any independent or small-party candidates who file enough signatures by Aug. 1.
It is possible that candidates other than Miller, Stephenson and Myers are gathering signatures to qualify for the primary election. Signatures are to be turned in to county election officials by Tuesday, March 12.
The office of magisterial district judge is a full-time job that pays a salary of $90,154 a year for a six-year term. The job was most recently held by Jayne F. Duncan until she resigned abruptly in April of last year. Magisterial district judges hear minor criminal matters, traffic cases, landlord-tenant disputes, small claims civil cases as well as holding arraignments, setting bail and holding preliminary hearings for serious criminal matters.