York City residents will get to decide the city's newest district judge in November.

For voters in District 19-2-04 (Manchester Township) and the newly formed District 19-3-11 (Hellam area), Tuesday's election essentially set who will be district judges there.

In the city, attorney Kathy Doucette secured the Republican nod in the primary election while fellow attorney Joel Toluba won the Democratic ballot for York City's District 19-1-05.

The two will square off in the general election.

Doucette was the only candidate who cross filed, meaning she was on both the Republican and Democratic ballots. A third candidate, Tom Harteis, narrowly missed securing the Democratic ballot.

Close votes: Harteis received 127 votes, three shy of beating Toluba, who had 129 votes, according to unofficial election results.

Doucette received 61 Republican votes but came in last on the Democratic side with 120 votes, according to the results.

Doucette, who formerly worked in the York County District Attorney's Office, said she had hoped to secure a win with both parties but added she's looking forward to the general election.

"I'm hoping to move forward with supporters I have on both sides," she said.

Toluba, who is in his fifth year as an assistant public defender with the York County Office of the Public Defender, did not return calls seeking comment.

Either Toluba or Doucette will win the post once held by retired District Judge Barbara Nixon.


19-2-04: West Manchester Township Police officer Jeffrey Oberdorf handily won the primary for the District 19-2-04.

The cross-filed Oberdorf gained 800 Republican and 311 Democratic votes, according to unofficial election results.

"I am honored by the faith and trust that the residents of Manchester Township have bestowed upon me," he said. "It was a tough race, as the other three candidates were also very qualified."

The three other candidates were also cross-filed. Those included Angela Dobrinoff-Blake, Steven Ruffatto and Donald Dull Jr.

Oberdorff said he's ready to fill the seat, which has been vacant since 2011 when Alan Naylor retired.

"I have the utmost respect for the office of magisterial district judge and will serve my terms honorably and to the best of my ability," he said.

19-3-11: Robert Eckenrode also won on both ballots Tuesday. And, like Oberdorff, barring a successful write-in campaign by a candidate in November, he essentially won the position in the process.

Eckenrode secured 461 Republican and 194 Democratic votes, topping five other candidates, most of whom are either current or former police officers.

The other candidates included Howard Daniels, Bruce Bartz, Drew Heistand, Kevin Romine and Laura Manifold.

Eckenrode said he was surprised he was able to secure both ballots despite the high number of candidates.

"That's what you hope for, but you never know," the former Northern York County Regional Police detective said.

Eckenrode has been a special agent in the bureau of criminal investigations in the state Office of Attorney General for more than 10 years but took a leave of absence to run for district judge.

The newly formed district has been vacant since being created in January 2012 by the redistricting that closed the Brogue office of District Judge Nancy Edie. The new district covers East Manchester and Hellam townships, Hallam, Mount Wolf, Manchester, and Wrightsville.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.