Papenfuse wins race for Harrisburg mayor

Eric Papenfuse has been elected the next mayor of Harrisburg.

Papenfuse, a businessman and bookstore owner, held off a challenge from city controller Dan Miller in Tuesday's election.

When all the votes were counted, the unofficial tally showed Papenfuse received 3,604 votes and Miller collected 2,312.

During a victory celebration at his Midtown Scholar bookstore, Papenfuse said the campaign was a year of hard work, but the really tough job is just beginning.

“No one individual can do this job,” he said. “It's going to require tremendous amounts of support. It's going to require support from those who voted for my opponents. It's going to require assembling a whole new staff of individuals to work for the City of Harrisburg. We have openings galore and we're going to need to work very hard to fill them with the best and the brightest.”

Miller seemed upbeat when asked about his defeat.

“I wish him well in moving Harrisburg forward,” he said of Papenfuse. “Other than that, I sort of want to paraphrase one of the great elected officials of America: He's in, I'm out, we'll see who's happier.”

Miller, a certified public accountant, said he plans to spend more time with his family and enjoy life outside of politics.

“It's very difficult to be in politics,” he said. “I've given eight years, really eight hard years, and I've done the things I think are right and I feel very good about that. It's time for somebody else to do that.”

Aaron Johnson, the deputy director of the city's public works department, waged a write-in campaign for the mayor's office. The unofficial count showed 1,294 voters cast write-in ballots, an unusually large number.

Papenfuse beat Miller and incumbent Mayor Linda Thompson in the May primary, but Miller won the Republican nomination as a write-in candidate.

Thompson will step down in January. She is the first African-American and first woman to serve as Harrisburg's mayor.


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