A retired Lebanon County veterinarian makes another bid for a seat in Harrisburg.
Calvin “Doc” Clements, 71, is running this time for the 48th Senate District seat currently held by Senator Chris Gebhard of North Cornwall Township. Because the two men are running unopposed in the May 17 primary, they are likely to face each other in the November general election.
“I have no desire to make a career in the legislature,” Clements told LebTown. “I believe in term limits. I am also a moderate and willing to listen to all points of view.
Clements ran a veterinary practice in Palmyra for 35 years. Now retired, he runs a small cattle and horse farm in South Londonderry Township and donates veterinary services to a dog rescue.
In 2020, Clements issued an unsuccessful challenge against State Representative Frank Ryan, a two-term Republican serving in the 101st District.
Clements is the former owner and CEO of Central Pennsylvania Veterinary Associates, a multi-location provider of veterinary medical services.
He is president-elect of Palmyra Rotary and a volunteer at the Caring Cupboard Food Pantry. He has three children and four grandchildren.
In a statement announcing his candidacy, Clements said if elected, he wanted to focus his energies “on returning the state to fiscal solvency.”
He plans to introduce legislation that would “reverse the increases and associated pension fund increases lawmakers have recently granted themselves,” he said in the statement.
“I find it incredulous that in a time of soaring inflation, soaring gasoline prices and economic uncertainty, they are accepting increases,” he said in a statement. “We need to fix the broken SERS and PSERS pension systems, before they bankrupt the state.”
Reiterating that the existing retirement system is “broken,” Clements told LebTown that lawmakers who take unfunded pensions need to move to a 401(k) program and “stop adding debt.”
It’s his No. 1 priority if he goes to Harrisburg, Clements said.
However, he also noted that voters in Lebanon County are concerned about issues such as the economy, adequate funding for law enforcement and election security. “I want to increase funding for law enforcement and will seek fair voter ID legislation,” he said.
He said state and local police departments should be able to “provide better paid officers, hire more officers, and provide appropriate support staff.”
“Shamefully, lawmakers are paid $94,000 plus exquisite benefits for 120 days of work a year,” he said in a statement, while “full-time police officers are paid an average of $55,000 a year. year for a full-time job. If we want to break the cycle of increased violence, we need to increase policing.”
A fair voter ID law would “protect our elections” while being “fair and just, allowing everyone who wants to have the opportunity to vote,” Clements said. “We can protect the elections, so that they are free and fair and without the stigma of fraud.”
“Possibility of change”
Clements said he wanted to see the parties put aside their differences and get back to work.
“Voters are tired of endless acrimony and (unnecessary) legislative spending on witch hunts,” he told LebTown. “Money that could be better spent funding law enforcement or education.”
Personally, he said, he brings 35 years of business experience to the table, building and managing a veterinary medical company. As a cattle and horse farmer, he added, he is not afraid to take the “bull by the horns”.
Clements thinks the recent redistricting process “will provide an opportunity for change” in Pennsylvania. Over the past 25 years, he said in an email, “one party took control and they grossly mismanaged the pension program and put the PA on the fast track to bankruptcy.”
He plans to conduct an “intensive” door-to-door campaign to meet with voters, and he hopes his stance on the legislative pay raise will inspire voters to support a Democrat in the 48th District.
“My opponent runs a multi-million dollar insurance company,” he said. “When is enough, enough?”
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