Martin-Roberts says city will endure ‘another term of misery’ after primary loss

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Harrisburg mayor’s most formidable challenger in this year’s primary campaign had some tough words for his supporters following the incumbent’s victory Tuesday night.

As her results party wound down at the Harrisburg Elks Lodge, Gloria Martin-Roberts doubled down on criticism of Mayor Eric Papenfuse, who won by more than 600 votes. She said Papenfuse has not improved neighborhoods or brought jobs, and that he ran a deceitful campaign.

Martin-Roberts spent the day campaigning then met up with a small group of volunteers and supporters at the Elks Lodge.

The former city council member said it was a tiring day but that she enjoyed meeting people in the city. This race, she said, was just the first step to a united city.

That was the main thrust of her campaign — a city of unity — telling voters she wanted to represent every neighborhood, a dig at persistent criticism of Papenfuse that he only cares about certain parts of the city.

Martin-Roberts said she’s proud of the campaign she ran and won’t stop working to improve the city.

But she’s still very critical of the man who won.

“Anyone who worked as hard as I did would feel disappointed,” she said. “But, you know, I respect the electorate and if they have decided they want another term of misery, then fine.”

There’s still hope for Martin-Roberts: 241 people wrote in Republican primary ballots without an actual republican candidate running. If she gets at least a hundred of them, she has a shot to run on the Republican side in November, taking on Papenfuse once more.

But it’ll likely take time to sort out who got written in and whether any other candidate received more write-ins than Martin-Roberts.

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