Two Democrats compete in York mayoral race

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YORK, Pa. -- Tuesday. May 16, York voters will decide who should be the next mayor of the city.

The two candidates in the running are two-term mayor Kim Bracey, and city council president Michael Helfrich.

Two Democrats expressed a love of the community, but these have different ideas on how they believe they can help move the city forward.

Bracey seeks a third term, while Helfrich challenges the mayor for her seat in office. Each one is inspired to run for different reasons.

"To be able to continue to lead the City of York, in the direction that it's going, a positive direction, engaging more and more people from the community, from the city, native Yorkers," Bracey said.

"I see more that needs to be done in the neighborhoods to help the families, and the kids. We need to develop more community centers, places to get these kids off the streets," Helfrich said.

Helfrich sees local churches also serving neighborhoods as potential community centers for kids and seniors.

"Come in there, play basketball, learn skills, be tutored, and the seniors could come in for socializing, luncheons, and to be the mentors for the kids as well," Helfrich added.

Bracey touts a drop in crime, economic development and five budgets without a tax increase as part of her achievements, while cutting property taxes three percent within the last two years.

"I've been working for five years to keep the budget down. I've also tried to put amendments forward that would have brought the taxes down even further, and I couldn't get those passed, so being in the mayor's position, I believe i'll be able to do that," Helfrich said.

"We can't take on every issue in the world, or in the city, but through our partnerships, leveraging those opportunities, we're able to get so much more done," Bracey said.

How to create more opportunities within the city and for whom are what these two candidates have their sights on in this race.

"York is making waves. It's becoming a destination location for many other, investor confidence is up. I need to keep that momentum going," Bracey said.

"My vision of the city is to get to the families. If you want to fix York, help the families. We spend a lot of time focusing on downtown, and downtown is good, but downtown is not all of York," Helfrich said.

There are no Republican challengers to Bracey or Helfrich.

Pennsylvania is a closed primary state so that means only York Democrats can vote for mayor. Whoever wins on Tuesday night, essentially will become the next mayor of the city.

"I'm a native of York, a homeowner, and I care about my community. I want to make sure things continue in the right direction," Bracey said.

"I'm an activist, I am impatient. I want to see things get done, and while there have been some good things going on, it's not enough," Helfrich said.

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