Last week York County's two main political parties chose their nominees to face off in a race to replace former state Rep. Eugene DePasquale in the state's 95th House District.
DePasquale, a Democrat, won the seat for a third House term in November but resigned after he was also elected to the state row office of auditor general.
The resulting vacancy necessitated a special election, which House Speaker Sam Smith has scheduled for the May primary. The winner will take office immediately.
While we believe voters should choose their nominees from among whichever hats happen to be tossed in the ring, we have to say this:
York County's Democratic and Republican committees put up quality candidates.
The Dems tapped 32-year-old Kevin Schreiber, who, as York City's director of economic development, deals with one of the most important issues in the 95th District day in and day out.
Schreiber is well-regarded, so much so that three others interested in the Democrats' nomination decided to support him once his name surfaced.
While the district, with York City at its heart, is heavily Democratic, the party shouldn't expect a cakewalk.
The 95th also includes North York, West York, Spring Garden Township and parts of West Manchester Township.
And the Republicans have enlisted their own well-known and highly respected candidate.
Bryan Tate is a longtime York City resident, familiar to many as the former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Todd Platts.
The 45-year-old currently is vice president of philanthropy at the York County Community Foundation.
It's early, but this looks like a real race.
And that's one reason we don't share the concern of some who think the special election should have been scheduled before the primary.
For one, it would be costly. Secondly, May 21 is less than four months away.
Schreiber and Tate need time to campaign; the residents of the 95th District need time to learn about the candidates before they're asked to make a choice.
The district won't have representation in Harrisburg until after the primary -- but think about what's going to happen between now and then.
If history is any indication, the governor will announce his budget early next month, and all of our lawmakers will sit on their hands until the last minute.
Only a few weeks before the June 30 budget deadline will our lawmakers start staking out their positions.
Whoever wins the special election will have just as much time as anyone else to weigh in on behalf of the 95th.