York Mayoral candidates prepare for election day battle

York Mayoral candidates prepare for election day battle

Election Day is Tuesday and the race for Mayor in the City of York is heating up.

The two Democrats on the ballot, Mayor Kim Bracey, the democratic nominee, and Michael Helfrich, a Democrat that is appearing on the Republican side of the ticket, continue to spar over hot-button issues like reducing crime.

“Excitement. A lot of buzz in the air,” said Mayor Bracey, talking about the feeling surrounding the upcoming election.

It’s definitely unusual in a general election to have two candidates from the same party on the ballot. Both agree, crime is an issue. Fixing the problem is where the two differ.

“Local government is who I am, it’s what we’ve been about,” Mayor Bracey said.

Just five months after a primary duel that Mayor Kim Bracey won over challenger, City Council President Michael Helfrich, the two are once again squaring off. Helfrich won enough write-in votes on the Republican side to get on the ballot.

“Being a Republican nominee brings in people that in the past really felt like they had no say in who runs the city,” he said.

Both candidates realize the struggle the city of 44,000 faces. High taxes and recruiting business is huge. But the biggest hot-button topic appears to be crime.

“Crime is through the roof and people are tired of it. They are looking for someone that is really going to get in here and make a difference,” Helfrich said.

But Mayor Bracey believes she is making a difference. Pointing to FBI crime statistics, the two-term Mayor says York has reduced its part one crimes, things like murder, rape and aggravated assault, by 31 percent in her eight years. Still, a lot of work remains.

“I am a native of York. I live in this community and I know the shootings. I hear the gunfire. And I know that one shooting is one too many,” she said.

Helfrich says, if elected, he will walk the streets with officers to make sure no citizen feels alone in the fight.

“There’s a big disconnect between our police force and the people of York city,” he said.

Both candidates believe turnout will determine this election. Bracey won the primary by 319 votes but Helfrich won over 200 write-in votes that could potentially close that gap.

There is a third person on the ballot, Libertarian David Moser. We reached out to his camp but got no reply.

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