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Could a challenge to Michael Helfrich’s York City mayoral win, have weight?

YORK, Pa. -- York City has elected Michael Helfrich to serve as it's next mayor.

Some voters could decide to challenge his win.

Current Mayor Kim Bracey has pledged to work with Helfrich in the transition, but was quoted in the York Daily Record as saying "results are one thing, and then eligibility to hold a seat is another thing."

Unless the York County district attorney or the Pennsylvania Attorney General call Helfrich's win into question, it would take a citizen to raise the issue.

The results of Election Day show many York voters like Parker James Hooker voted in favor of city council president Michael Helfrich to become the city's next mayor.

"Mayor Bracey, she's done a great job, she has, but now we want Mike. We want mike, to see what Mike can do to help York," Hooker said.

Some may call into question if Helfrich is eligible to serve as mayor, based on the fact he pleaded guilty to two drug-related felonies, more than two decades ago.

Attorney Chuck Hobbs said "the Pennsylvania Constitution has a list of crimes that if you're convicted of, you can not hold a public office of trust."

Mayor Bracey raised the question of Helfrich's eligibility in court in 2011, when she challenged his win to sit on city council. Helfrich was represented in that case by Hobbs.

"I don't think it's going to take us back to 2011. I think there's something in the judicial system. It's not quite fair for somebody to have to re-litigate the same issues over and over and over. It's kind of water under the bridge," Hobbs said.

Hobbs argued in the 2011 case that Helfrich's felonies were not considered infamous crimes, that under the State Constitution would prevent him from holding office.

"They didn't have drug laws, they didn't have things like that. What they knew to be an infamous crime were the unwritten laws that didn't need to be on the books like murder and horse thievery," Hobbs said.

A York County judge agreed Helfrich's past did not prevent him from taking his place on city council, and dismissed the case in 2012. It's why Hobbs doesn't expect a case of deja vu.

"Its water under the bridge. It's res judicata. It's already been litigated, to the fullest. I don't think that they would have much of a leg to stand on. It is the same electorate. It's the same set of facts. It's the same litigation," Hobbs said.

"We all have our past, and you got to leave it in the past," Hooker said.

As Hobbs stated, the 2011 challenge by Mayor Bracey centered around York City voters who elected Helfrich to city council. The same set of voters who picked him for mayor. Since it's the same electorate, Hobbs believes the case is already closed.