Harrisburg mayoral candidates prepare for final debates before primary election

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – With two debates left before the primary election, Jennie Jenkins, Gloria Martin-Roberts, Lewis Butts and Anthony Harrell continue down the campaign trail to try and unseat incumbent Eric Papenfuse.

Harrell, a military veteran, has lived in Harrisburg for more than 20 years. He says there needs to be more balance when it comes to growth in the city.

“When you have one area growing and the rest of the city not growing, then you have an issue,” Harnell said

Butts ran for mayor four years ago and says the city is too divided.

“I want to set the example,” Butts said. “If I win, I would like to offer the other candidates an opportunity to be a part of my cabinet.”

Papenfuse says the city has moved forward under his leadership.

“We have balanced budgets and we are paying our bills,” he said. “We are growing our police department. We are growing our public works department.”

Former Harrisburg police officer Jennie Jenkins has said the city needs to become safer.

“Our residents don’t feel safe and our business owners and visitors don’t feel safe,” she said. “We have to focus on reducing crime, and that will help the city grow in other areas.”

Martin-Roberts says she will focus on having strong relationships at all levels.

“It is critical to have strong ties with the stakeholders,” she said. “That is how we will be successful.”

The candidates will meet on Tuesday, May 9 at the Hilton in Harrisburg and on May 11 at the Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center.

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