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McCleaf, Wivell seek McKee's seat

February 23, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Washington County Commissioner William J. Wivell and Williamsport Mayor James G. McCleaf II said Friday they've applied for the House of Delegates seat vacated by Robert A. McKee.

Including three applicants previously confirmed by The Herald-Mail, at least five people have applied for the Subdistrict 2A seat.

The deadline to submit a letter of interest and a rsum to the Washington County Republican Central Committee was Thursday. The committee has 30 days to recommend someone to the governor, who appoints the replacement.

McKee, R-Washington, announced Feb. 15 that he was resigning effective three days later. Police searched his home Jan. 31 because of a tip that child pornography was inside.

McKee, a delegate for about 13 years, has not been charged.

Washington County Commissioner James F. Kercheval expressed interest in the open seat earlier in the week, but couldn't be reached Thursday or Friday to say if he had applied.

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The Herald-Mail reported Friday that at least three people had applied - former Washington County Commissioner John C. Munson; Volvo Powertrain North American machinist Donald L. Armstrong II; and Liz Jones, an aide to Del. Christopher B. Shank.

Wivell, 43, briefly ran for a House seat in 2002, but dropped out when redistricting would have put him in a primary against McKee. Wivell, who was first elected commissioner in 1998, said moving on would be tough.

"I have mixed emotions," he said. "At the same time, I felt I have something to offer at the state level."

McCleaf, 37, who became mayor in 2005, said he also has thought about being a delegate, but would never have challenged McKee.

"I think that I could do a great job for the community," McCleaf said.

Central Committee Chairwoman Penny Pittman said Friday she didn't know how many applications the committee received. She said the process for sifting through candidates will be decided when the committee meets "in the very near future."

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