An Elizabethtown woman is seeking write-in votes from Democrats for Borough Council, meaning voters in the Third Ward will most likely have a choice in the general election.
Deb Jones said she respects incumbent Republican Phil Clark, but wants voters to have a choice.
“I think the time is right to have a different perspective on the council,” Jones said in an interview.
Republicans have usually run unopposed in local elections in Elizabethtown, but that has changed recently. It the most recent municipal election in 2017, incumbentSecond Ward Republican Councilor J. Neil Ketchum,Jr. was challenged by Democratic candidate Mary Auker-Endres; Ketchum won that race with 205 votes to 148 for Auker- Endres. In an open seat in the First Ward, Democrat Bill Troutman got 208 votes to defeat Republican Chris Seitz, who had 146 votes, and Green Party candidate Timothy Runkle, who had 33 votes. Troutman is the first non-Republican elected to Elizabethtown Borough office in decades.
Jones is running in the Third Ward, which serves the people who vote at the Frienship Fire Company station and the United Zion Church. She needs to get 10 registered Democrats to write her name in on the primary election ballot to get the nomination.
“I think Elizabethtown has been changing and there are new issues and challenges facing our community,” Jones said.
Jones is currently executive director of Elizabethtown Community Housing & Outreach Services and has worked for various nonprofits since 2002, except for a period from 2004 to 2010, when she was a stay-at-home mom. She worked at law firms in Philadelphia and Lancaster as a trial litigation paralegal from 1988 to 2002.
Jones said her experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors will be useful on the Borough Council.
“Many people think the nonprofit world does not have a business model,” Jones said. “It most certainly does.”
Jones said she hopes to encourage collaboration between the business community and nonprofits.
One thing Jones said she wants to improve is public transportation. Elizabethtown is served by Red Rose Transit Authority buses, but those buses only go as far as the industrial park where the Nordstrom warehouse is, not into Dauphin County where the Hope Within free clinic is.
Jones is kicking off her campaign with a rally at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, at the southeast corner of Elizabethtown’s Center Square.