Senators to Recommend Lancaster County District Attorney for Court of Common Pleas Vacancy

HARRISBURG – Senators Ryan Aument (R-36) and Scott Martin (R-13) issued the following statement regarding their decision to recommend to Governor Wolf that he nominate Craig Stedman to fill the unexpired term of Judge Jay Hoberg, who retired from the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas today.

“After careful consideration of all the candidates that expressed interest in serving as a judge in our Court of Common Pleas, we are proud to offer our support to Craig Stedman, Lancaster County’s District Attorney.

Mr. Stedman’s character, credentials, strong ethical standards, leadership and overall qualifications are ultimately why we have elected to support him.

A graduate of the University of Delaware and the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, Mr. Stedman received top honors.  He also served as a Captain in the United States Army Reserves, Military Intelligence until he was honorably discharged in 1994.

With a lifelong passion for protecting people and promoting justice, Mr. Stedman has over 26 years of experience in federal, state and county courts.

Prior to being elected Lancaster County’s District Attorney in 2007, Mr. Stedman worked in the office as Assistant District Attorney and was named Chief of Lancaster County’s Major Crimes Unit and was responsible for all homicide and suspicious death investigations. 

Over the same period, he was also designated a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office, so he could prosecute gun crimes in federal court.

After his election in 2007 and throughout his time as Lancaster County’s top prosecutor, he followed the law and facts and consistently looked for innovative ways to improve the criminal justice system and generate positive outcomes.

Mr. Stedman has a distinguished list of accomplishments that include:

  • Prioritizing repeat, violent, sexual offenders;
  • Raising the profile of the dangers of stranger house burglaries;
  • Establishing a Special Victims Unit against child predators;
  • Creating the first-ever Lancaster County Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit and Task Force;
  • Designating and proposing the DUI Central Court;
  • Establishing the DUI Repeat Offender Program;
  • Strengthening the Domestic Violence Unit;
  • Building a strong Computer Forensic Unit;
  • Creating the Lancaster County Major Crash Investigative Unit;
  • Creating the Lancaster County Major Crimes Unit Forensic Team;
  • Promoting diversion programs for non-violent first time offenders; and
  • Creating the position of Public Safety Grant Coordinator helping to secure funds to help meet goals of the office.

Another key initiative Mr. Stedman undertook was to work on court reforms to dramatically increase court efficiency, helping to reduce prison population and costs.  He has also been very active in Lancaster County in addressing the current opioid crisis afflicting our people.

Based on his accomplishments and leadership, Mr. Stedman was twice overwhelming reelected by the voters of Lancaster County to serve as the county’s top law enforcement officer.

Not surprisingly, because of his work, Mr. Stedman has extensive trial experience, making regular appearances in court at both the trial and appellate levels for 17 years, giving him unparalleled practical skills that will allow him to effectively manage a courtroom.

Beyond his professional credentials, Mr. Stedman is actively involved in the community, from leading efforts to help eradicate Multiple Sclerosis to offering his expertise in leadership initiatives for children.

For his contributions, Mr. Stedman has received numerous awards, including honors from In the Light Ministries, the PA DUI Association, the Lancaster County Community Safety Coalition and the Lancaster Area Victim Offender Reconciliation Program.

Raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Mr. Stedman is married and the father of a son and daughter. 

For all these reasons, Mr. Stedman was rated “highly recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar Association when he was recently reviewed for another judicial office.

While we will be recommending Mr. Stedman to Governor Wolf, we wish to thank all the candidates who expressed interest in serving on the bench.

We were genuinely impressed with the diversity of strengths, knowledge, skills and abilities of all the candidates.  There is genuine sacrifice in public service, and their willingness to offer their talents is to be commended.

It is important to note that Governor Wolf will make the nomination to fill this vacancy.  As Senators, our constitutional obligation is to advise the Governor and, if we find a nominee qualified, to offer our consent.

We take this responsibility seriously and have intentionally promoted a fair selection and appointment process in fulfillment of our Constitutional obligations.”


Jake Smeltz (717) 787-4420 (Senator Aument)
Terry Trego (717) 787-6535 (Senator Martin)

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