The race for the York County Council’s District 3 seat, representing Western York County, continued to heat up this week as a Democrat filed for the race that already includes two Republicans.
Jessica Lynn, executive director of The Haven men’s shelter in Rock Hill, has filed to run for the seat as a Democrat. The two Republican candidates are incumbant Eric Winstead, serving his first term, and former York County Councilman Joe Cox, who served two terms on the council before Winstead defeated him in 2010.
Lynn, 34, who lives in York, has worked at The Haven since December 2009, after earning her master’s degree in social work from Winthrop University. If Lynn remains unopposed in June’s primary, she will face the winner of the GOP primary race in November’s general election.
Lynn, a longtime resident of York County, also has an undergraduate degree from Furman University and spent some time teaching. Between 2002 and 2008, she volunteered with York County’s guardian ad litem program, which offers support for abused and neglected children navigating the court system.
Lynn said two reasons she’s running are unequal access to county services for all county residents and a lack of jobs.
Having worked at The Haven for the past two and a half years, Lynn said she has seen “first-hand the struggles” people experience in “finding sustainable employment and affordable housing.”
Those challenges push people to relocate to parts of the county with better access to county services and jobs, she said.
“As a far as I’m concerned, the council’s sole focus should be creating more jobs … here in York County so that folks earn a livable wage,” she said. Paying more attention to her district’s agricultural character would also be a priority if elected, she said.
Cox, who declined to comment on the race Monday, has criticized the council for not working together and Winstead for a lack of achievement.
Cox works as a superintendent in the electrical division of SRE, a construction company. He was elected mayor of Sharon for three terms, and served on the York County Council from 2006 to 2010.
Winstead, who was arrested for drunken driving in December and lost his job as a hospice chaplain, wasn’t sure until recently whether he would seek re-election for the post.
After starting a new job as a counselor at Lake View Memorial Gardens in York, where he helps clients make burial arrangements, he decided to run again. The DUI arrest, which brought his family closer together, he said, has been “a tremendous gift.”
In addition to working with the state to improve economic development, Winstead said improving the county’s fire service has been a major focus. One goal is to have land and money for a new training facility.
Winstead has said he looks forward to debating his opponents in town hall meetings.