York City Mayor Kim Bracey was a no-show Monday at the only scheduled candidates' forum before the Nov. 5 election.
Bracey, a Democrat, is seeking re-election to a second four-year term.
She sent a surrogate to read a prepared statement during the forum hosted by the York NAACP.
According to her supporters, Bracey was in Harrisburg attending an awards presentation hosted by Gov. Tom Corbett. Members of the band Live, who are natives of York, are the recipients of this year's governor's Arts Innovation Award.
David Moser, a Libertarian, is challenging Bracey for her job.
At the forum, before a sparse crowd, Moser took questions from NAACP President Sandra Thompson.
Frequently, Moser said, he believes York City could solve many of its problems if the government would "get out of the way."
Crime, he said, is a "symptom of the lack of opportunity."
Moser said he'd like to cut the red tape that inhibits business growth in an effort to increase the city's tax base and stabilize its finances.
He called himself an alternative for city residents unhappy with the status quo.
"I am York's second chance at this point," he said.
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