New Freedom challengers sweep borough primary against incumbents

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch
New Freedom Borough Council candidate Inga Andrews speaks as community members gather to meet candidates in New Freedom, Saturday, April 13, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

A slate of first-time candidates challenging New Freedom Borough Council incumbents won across the board in Tuesday's Republican primary, according to York County Board of Elections results. 

The challengers ran on a platform of bringing transparency back to the borough after alleging the council had silenced the public voice this past year during a debate over departing from the Southern Regional Police Department. Ultimately, the borough stayed with the regional department. 

Kim Butcher beat Mayor Eric Paules by about 31 percentage points on Tuesday, May 21. Andrew Bobby, Ryan Ross and Inga Andrews garnered the most votes for three open four-year seats, securing three spots on the ticket over incumbent council members Dave Reisdorf and Larry O'Brien. 

Burnell Wildasin ran unopposed to fill a two-year term, earning 98.59% of the vote. 

More:New Freedom council members, mayor face challengers after police debate

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Andrews said the win was "historic," noting what she deemed high voter turnout and higher than average Democratic write-ins. 

"The only thing the people have is the vote; that's the only way the system works," Andrews said. 

"And they came out and they created the change, so change is going to occur. And I just absolutely, as a naturalized citizen, it just proves to me that the system does work," she said. 

In Tuesday's primary, 27% of registered Republicans and 20% of registered Democrats voted, which is an increase from the last off-year primary election in 2017 when 24% of registered Republicans and 17.68% of Democrats voted, according to county records. 

"It's kind of a humbling experience," Bobby said. "The people of New Freedom have spoken with a very loud voice, and we’re looking forward to serving if we get through November."