York financial adviser vies for District 3 seat on York County Council

jzou@heraldonline.comMarch 18, 2014 

A financial professional from York is looking to bring his business background and years of management experience to the county council chambers as a candidate for the District 3 seat.

Robert Winkler, an adviser with the Edwards Jones financial firm in York, has filed his intent to run for the District 3 seat held by Joe Cox.

“We need someone with a little more business background,” Winkler, 48, said of his decision to participate in this year’s elections. Winkler said he’s always been interested in politics and finally reached a point in his career where he can dedicate time to an elected office.

As a council member, Winkler said he would focus on fostering economic development opportunities for the county and specifically for rural District 3.

“York County has a lot to offer, but sometimes the western part of the county can be a little overlooked,” said Winkler, noting that the west’s lack of infrastructure must be addressed to support manufacturing and other large-scale businesses.

The Georgia native moved to York last year, but resided in Rock Hill for close to a decade. He has worked out of his York office for seven years.

Winkler said he’s known Cox for several years and told him about his decision to run during a council meeting Monday night.

“What I bring is different than what Joe brings,” said Winkler. “I think it’s just time for someone with a different perspective and knowledge.”

Cox is serving his second term on the council and has filed his intent to run for re-election. The filing period with the State Election Commission opened Sunday and closes on March 30. All council incumbents except for Curwood Chappell in District 5, have filed candidacy forms as of Tuesday.

Winkler, a father of three and grandfather of 10, said his conservative Southern values coupled with professional experience and community involvement will distinguish him from other candidates.

His board memberships include the Greater York Chamber of Commerce, a Bible education program with York school district, a food bank operated by PATHministries and the York Place children’s home.

Another issue Winkler said he hopes to tackle is reviving plans for an agri-tourism site in western York County. Plans for an official site fizzled because of funding concerns and lack of widespread council support.

While Winkler doesn’t have former political experience, he thinks his years of negotiation have prepared him for a seat on council.

“There’s a place and time for disagreeing with people but there’s a right way to do it,” he said. “One thing I’ve been blessed with is an abundance of patience.”

Jie Jenny Zou •  803-329-4062

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