Professor: Alleged attack on Bracey should have little effect on election

Jason Addy
York Dispatch

An alleged attack on York City Mayor Kim Bracey by her son just a month before the election will probably have little effect on her re-election campaign, a professor who studies politics in Pennsylvania says.

According to York City Police, Bracey's son physically attacked her on Sept. 30 during an event at her campaign headquarters.

Terry Madonna, a professor of public affairs at Franklin & Marshall College, said the incident should not negatively affect Bracey's re-election campaign.

"I see nothing (in the incident) in relationship to her duties as mayor and nothing close to relevant in this race," he said.

York's overwhelmingly Democratic electorate also should work in her favor come November, Madonna added.

More:Son's $50K city job on the line after alleged attack on Mayor Bracey


Brandon Anderson, 30, of the 900 block of East Market Street, is charged with one misdemeanor count of simple assault and one summary count of harassment for allegedly hitting Bracey multiple times before he was stopped, court documents state.

York City Council members Renee Nelson and Henry Nixon were not aware of the incident before it was reported. 

"It caught me by surprise," Nixon said.

City Council president Michael Helfrich mentioned hearing a rumor floating around but did not elaborate. Helfrich is challenging Bracey in November as the Republican candidate.

Neither Nelson nor Nixon believe the incident will affect the mayor's ability to do her job, they said.

"I think her personal life and issues in her personal life are personal, " Nixon said. "They don't really have anything to do with her ability to be an effective mayor."

Incident: Anderson punched Bracey in the face, knocking her to the ground on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 153 S. Beaver St., York City Police Officer Frank Clark alleged in charging documents filed later that day.

Brandon Anderson

That location is Bracey’s campaign headquarters. She is seeking a third term as York City mayor.

After knocking his mother to the ground, Anderson kicked Bracey several times in her back, head and face, according to charging documents filed at District Judge Joel Toluba’s office.

“Anderson then picked up a wooden flag pole and attempted to hit Bracey with it but was stopped (by) a bystander,” Clark wrote.

Mayor C. Kim Bracey's campaign headquarters at 153 South Beaver St. in York City, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Charging documents name the victim as Cecilia Bracey. Cecilia is the mayor's legal first name, and she signs official documents as C. Kim Bracey.

Anderson was arrested at the scene and taken to the county's central booking unit to await arraignment.

Statement: Bracey did not immediately return a call for comment Friday night, but she later released a statement through a campaign consultant addressing her son's arrest.

York City Mayor C. Kim Bracey speaks prior to the 23rd Annual York Bike Night Parade on Market Street in York City, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

"Like thousands of families, our family is confronting the fact that my adult son is battling an opioid addiction," it read. "No family is immune from this epidemic, which is why we must do everything in our power to solve it. At this time, I would ask the media for privacy as my family deals with this issue.”

She did not return a call asking for further comment Sunday.

The ordeal could provide needed awareness about opiate abuse, Madonna said.

"It's horrible what happened to her," Madonna said, and added "this is a horrific act in the sense that this is rooted in (Anderson's) opioid addiction."

"Maybe on the upside — if there is an upside to this — is that it will focus on a very serious problem that it is," he said.

Funding for opioid treatment is one of the few issues that state Democrats and Republicans are not divided on, according to Madonna.

Released: After a week in custody, Anderson was released from York County Prison at 3:08 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, after his $7,500 bail was posted, according to prison records.

A preliminary hearing for Anderson is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at Toluba’s office.

Anderson's court records do not show a listed attorney. Anderson could not be reached for comment.

Council members Sandie Walker and Judy Ritter-Dickinson could not be reached for comment.

— Reach Jason Addy at or follow him on Twitter at @JasonAddyYD.