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Folmer right to resign; new senator needs to represent the entire district: Editorial

Posted 10/9/19

The charges against Mike Folmer are horrific. The former state senator was correct to resign. We deserve better from our elected officials.

The Lebanon Republican is facing child pornography …

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Folmer right to resign; new senator needs to represent the entire district: Editorial

Posted

The charges against Mike Folmer are horrific. The former state senator was correct to resign. We deserve better from our elected officials.

The Lebanon Republican is facing child pornography counts, and he stepped down Sept. 18, a day after the charges come to light. We don’t know what the outcome of the legal process will be. However, according to the criminal complaint, Folmer told police “he had been dealing with some personal problems/issues and that he had received child pornography through his Tumblr blog.”

An Oct. 31 preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8 a.m. in the courtroom of Lebanon County District Judge Thomas M. Capello.

If he is found guilty, he deserves significant punishment.

Our thoughts are with the victim of the child pornography that Folmer allegedly possessed. We can’t lose sight of these victims. The actions taken by the monsters who perpetrate the actual abuse can carry scars that ruin lives. Those who seek out gratification through this severe abuse deserve appropriate punishment, and with the goal of rehabilitation.

While keeping these serious allegations in mind, we also must face reality: Someone has to replace Folmer and represent us — those in Highspire, Londonderry Township, Middletown, Lower Swatara Township, Royalton and Steelton — in the state Senate.

A special election will be held Tuesday, Jan. 14, to fill the vacant seat.

Republicans candidates are lining up to be picked. So far they almost all have a common denominator — they are from Lebanon County.

It’s not a surprise. The district is spread over Lebanon, Dauphin and York counties, but it includes all of Lebanon County, so it holds the most sway in the district.

State Rep. Tom Mehaffie, R-Lower Swatara Township, told the Press & Journal recently that he has “no intent” to apply to the party to fill the seat.

While Folmer was from Lebanon, he was no stranger to this area. His knowledge of local issues was boosted by the fact that one of his key staff members is an area resident.

We are far from knowing who will take Folmer’s place. When a senator resigns and a special election is held, democracy takes a bit of a hit. The parties get to choose their candidates to be on the ballot instead of going through a primary.

However, we hope that whoever is the new senator will represent the entire district, including the municipalities we listed above in our area that might not be as familiar to them.

Our votes here in Dauphin County for a new senator count just as much as those in Lebanon County. We will watch with interested eyes what happens.

As for Folmer, we hope the justice system works quickly and fairly.