Dave Arnold
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 48th district
In office
January 14, 2020 – January 17, 2021
Preceded byMike Folmer
ConstituencyLebanon County and parts of Dauphin and York counties
Personal details
Born(1971-12-07)December 7, 1971
Lebanon County, Pennsylvania
DiedJanuary 17, 2021(2021-01-17) (aged 49)
Lebanon County, Pennsylvania
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Alicia Arnold
EducationKutztown University
Widener University School of Law

David J. Arnold Jr. (December 7, 1971 – January 17, 2021) was a Pennsylvania state senator who represented the 48th district, which includes all of Lebanon County and portions of Dauphin and York counties. He was a member of the Republican Party and previously served as the district attorney of Lebanon County. He was a senator from January 2020 until his death in January 2021.

Personal life

Arnold was a lifelong resident of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania and graduated from Cedar Crest High School in 1989. He later earned a criminal justice degree from Kutztown University. Soon after graduating from Widener University School of Law in 1996 with a JD degree, Arnold passed the bar exam.[1][2]

In late October 2019, Arnold was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and underwent successful surgery two days later at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center to have it removed. According to a post on his campaign's Facebook page, additional treatment would be needed, and he would be off work and the campaign trail for a brief period after doctors had given him an excellent prognosis for full recovery.[3][4] He died at his home on January 17, 2021, at age 49.[5]

District attorney

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Arnold worked within the district attorney's office from 1997 to 2002 and four years in private practice before being elected in 2005 as the district attorney of Lebanon County. He was president of the Pennsylvania District Attorney's Association from 2016 to 2017.[1][2]

Pennsylvania Senate

After Mike Folmer resigned as state senator from Pennsylvania's 48th district in September 2019, a special election to fill the position was scheduled for January 14, 2020.[6] Arnold announced in early October 2019 that he was seeking the associated Republican nomination.[7] Running against at least seven other Republicans,[8] Arnold was chosen by a state Republican committee to be the party's nominee.[9] He won the special election against Democratic nominee Michael Schroeder with nearly two-thirds of the vote.[10] Arnold was sworn in to office on January 29, 2020.[11]

The state senator salary is less than half of what Arnold had been making as a district attorney, and he planned to make up the difference with a side job in a private law practice, which other lawyer-legislaters are reported to do. Arnold said his taking the job is not for monetary purposes, and that he will not sign up for the state's traditional pension plan, for which other new state employees are not eligible.[12]

Arnold was one of 75 members of Pennsylvania's congressional delegation to sign a letter to the state's U.S. congress members on December 4, 2020, regarding an election review for the 2020 presidential election. The letter identifies election-related legal protections its signers believe were undermined, and asks that Congress "reject electoral votes that are not 'regularly given' or 'lawfully certified'", as they are enabled to do by federal law.[13] Arnold signed another letter to the state's attorney general the same day that requests a review of state policies and procedures during the 2020 presidential election, and seeks related reviews and recommendations.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Biography". State Senator Dave Arnold. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Shelly, Nora (January 7, 2020). "Special election: Background on Republican candidate Lebanon District Attorney Dave Arnold". Lebanon Daily News. USA Today Network. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  3. ^ Naylor, Sean (November 4, 2019). "Dave Arnold, Lebanon County DA and GOP nominee for state Senate, is recovering from surgery". WPMT. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  4. ^ Barr, Barbara (November 4, 2019). "Lebanon County District Attorney Dave Arnold has surgery to remove brain tumor". WGAL. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  5. ^ Murphy, Jan (January 17, 2021). "Pa. state senator dies from brain cancer at age 49". PennLive. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  6. ^ Kulp, Andrew; Shelly, Nora (September 25, 2019). "Mike Folmer Pa. state Senate seat: Date set for special election". Lebanon Daily News. Retrieved September 26, 2019 – via MSN.
  7. ^ Cole, John (October 7, 2019). "SD48: Lebanon County DA Dave Arnold Announces Bid for GOP Nomination". PoliticsPA. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  8. ^ Kulp, Andrew (October 4, 2019). "Meet the 8 Republicans seeking the party's nomination for Mike Folmer's Senate seat". Lebanon Daily News. USA Today Network. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  9. ^ Wenner, David (October 19, 2020). "GOP chooses district attorney to run for seat vacated by senator facing child porn charges". The Patriot-News. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  10. ^ Naylor, Sean (January 14, 2020). "Lebanon County DA Dave Arnold will be the next state senator for PA's 48th district". WPMT. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  11. ^ Murphy, Jan (January 29, 2020). "Pa. Sen. Dave Arnold takes oath of office, sets as his goal to 'do all the right things for the right reasons'". The Patriot-News. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  12. ^ Murphy, Jan (January 6, 2020). "Special election to fill Pa. Senate seat pits a district attorney against a history professor". PA Post. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  13. ^ "Re: 2020 Election Review". Politico. December 4, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  14. ^ "2020 Election Review" (PDF). Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus. December 4, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
Political offices
Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
Mike Folmer
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 48th district