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Gov. Wolf backs Bracey for third term as York City mayor

Jason Addy
York Dispatch

With less than four weeks until the 2017 municipal election, Gov. Tom Wolf is throwing the weight of Pennsylvania’s most powerful office behind York City Mayor Kim Bracey’s re-election campaign.

Wolf announced his endorsement for Bracey  on Thursday, Oct. 12, pointing to a 30 percent drop in crime during the first eight years of Bracey’s administration and her push to reduce property taxes. 

Tom Wolf talks with Goode K-8 fourth-grade teacher Stefanie Moyar, left, and York City Mayor Kim Bracey during his visit to the school as part of his "Schools that Teach" tour Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Bill Kalina photo

“Kim’s tireless work on behalf of all York residents has resulted in successful efforts to reduce crime by more than 30 percent, lower property taxes and attract new businesses to create jobs,” Wolf said in a news release from Mike Mikus, Bracey’s campaign consultant. “York is a better place to live and work as a result of Kim’s efforts.”

Bracey is running against York City Council President Michael Helfrich for a third term in office. Helfrich, a Democrat, will be on the ballot as a Republican after securing the party's nomination via write-in votes during May's municipal primary.

During a news conference in September about police hires and violent crime in the city, Bracey cited statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program showing a significant drop in total crime, though the graphs also indicated a spike in violent crime between 2015 and 2016.

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More:York City Council passes budget with tax cut, fee increases

More:Bracey: Vision 2020 working, but long-term plan needed

During the last two years of Bracey’s leadership, the York City Council has approved a 1 percent and a 2 percent cut in property taxes for York City homeowners. Bracey’s Vision 2020 plan calls for further cuts of 4 percent and 8 percent in the city’s next two annual budgets.

After earning Wolf’s endorsement, Bracey said she was “honored and humbled” to have the backing of the state’s top Democrat, who made his name in York City and York County.

“Every area of the city has been touched by the governor and his family,” Bracey said. “They want the county seat to be the best that it can. I know he gets it. It definitely means a lot to our administration” to have Wolf’s endorsement.

Bracey said she and Wolf have “worked well together for a long time” during Wolf’s time as a businessman and her time in York City government.

Wolf visited York City on Tuesday, Oct. 10, for the launch of the Rise of the Rest competition, and Bracey said she and the governor talked about her leadership and the city’s direction under her administration.

“Addressing issues on the ground is what it’s about for people,” Bracey said. “I know he understands the issues small cities face.”