Helfrich surprises many, wins York Mayor race


A major upset from Election Day. There will be a new leader in the City of York. Challenger and City Council President Michael Helfrich defeated two-term incumbent Kim Bracey.

“I am feeling wonderful. I am feeling humbled and honored that all of these people got together behind me and believe that I should be the person that leads them to making York a greater city,” said Helfrich.

It’s not often a Republican candidate wins the position of Mayor here in the City of York. So, Helfrich’s victory is odd in that way. However, despite winning the race on the Republican side of the ticket, he is actually a democrat, already losing to Mayor Kim Bracey in the May primary.

“I asked people to vote for the person, not the party. I asked them to vote for my ideas and my initiatives and I think that is what they did. This isn't even an election about me. This is an election about a vision for York,” he said.

Helfrich took in his victory at the Holy Hound Tap Room in downtown York. The city council president and registered Democrat won by a relatively slim 125 vote margin. The final numbers, according to the York County Board of Elections, shows Helfrich won 2,128 votes. Mayor Kim Bracey garnered 2,003 votes.

“We have changed York in a way that it will always be changed. It will go down in history as one of the best places for people to live, work and grow,” said Mayor Bracey.

Helfrich says this victory is sweet, but he didn’t win to just win the office. He wants to make a difference in the community.

“We are going to fix the school district. We are going to reduce crime. We are going to reduce things even like trash in the city. We need to and we will give the children of York city I believe in themselves,” he said.

Bracey had already defeated Helfrich in the May primary when the two ran on the Democratic side of the ticket. However, Helfrich won enough Republican write-in votes to place him on the ballot. Bracey says she is focusing on the good work that her eight years in office has given to the people of York.

“I feel really good about all that we have accomplished in the City of York. I can't look past that right now. This has been a tremendous ride and we have done some tremendous work,” she said.

Helfrich says his big focuses are reducing crime and taxes. He has even vowed to walk the streets with police officers to take back the community.

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