Midstaters keep close eye on Harrisburg mayoral race

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With just days until the May Primary Election, even those without a Harrisburg vote are watching the city's mayoral race closely.

Pick a bridge, any bridge around Harrisburg. Most remain busy around the clock. No surprise, it is the capital city after all. But, as Harrisburg's mayoral candidates make the final push around city neighborhoods, those who live outside city limits are paying close attention.

A walk along 2nd Street in downtown Harrisburg, it wasn't hard to find people who come to the city to work and play everyday.

“I come to Harrisburg everyday for business,” said Mark Fields. His trek from Allentown is a little further than Beth Holey who lives in Hummelstown.

“I work in the city and I'm an employee of the district,” she said.

Tom Burgo hails from Elizabethtown, Lancaster County yet said, “I work in Harrisburg.”

According to the latest US Census Bureau statistics, 549,850 lives in the Harrisburg-Carlisle metro area. However, the population of Harrisburg itself was just shy of 50,000 according to the census.

City-data.com reports 35,610 people commute to Harrisburg a day. State workers make up roughly 20,000 of that figure. So, on a daily basis, more than 85,000 people live, work and play in Harrisburg everyday.

Most believe what happens in Harrisburg is a reflection on the entire commonwealth and definitely the midstate.

As a daily commuter, Fields is concerned about the city's failing infrastructure.

“[Citizens] need to vote so they can do something about these roads number one,” he said.

While Sara Kopp lives next door in Susquehanna Township, she frequents Harrisburg to take in what the city has to offer. Kopp said safety, economy and overall image matter to her most.

“Insulting each other back and forth isn't really what matters,” said Kopp. “It's about making Harrisburg a better place.”

As a businessman in Harrisburg, Burgo would like to see a mayor help Harrisburg get back on its financial feet.

“I just like to see the city get straightened out with the budget stuff,” he said.

While many of these people do not have a vote when the polls open next Tuesday at 7 am, they are urging city residents to do what they cannot – vote.

“People just need to realize this affects everybody,” said Kopp.

“Don't stay at home,” said Holey. “Come out and vote, make sure your vote counts. That's all I'm gonna ask ya.”

 

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