YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – York will have a new mayor after City Council President Michael Helfrich stunned two-term incumbent Mayor Kim Bracey in a narrow defeat of just 130 votes.
Helfrich lost to Bracey in the Democratic primary but got enough write-in votes on the Republican ballot to run again in the general election.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Helfrich got 2,125 votes. Bracey received 1,995 votes, while Libertarian Dave Moser, who serves on the York City School Board, received 63 votes. The vote tallies are before absentee ballots were counted.
Bracey called Helfrich to concede around 10 p.m. and is remaining positive.
“I feel real good about all that we’ve accomplished in the City of York, and I can’t look past that right now,” Bracey said. “This has been a tremendous ride and we have done some tremendous work, things we thought wouldn’t be possible, so I feel real good about that.”
Helfrich believes he knows what won him the nomination.
“Every type of person in this city together and gave them a vision, a new vision, where people have opportunity, everybody. This isn’t a city of a downtown. This is a city of neighborhoods, and everyone in those neighborhoods is going to get opportunity now,” Helfrich said.
The mayor-elect already knows what he’ll do when he takes office.
“Well, the first thing I’m going to do is meet with the staff across the city and make sure I learn everything that I need to learn,” Helfrich said. “Then I’m going to start getting out and walking with the police.”
Helfrich calls himself a fiscal conservative but a social liberal. He’ll be sworn into take office in January.