Sen. Casey endorses Bracey in York City mayor's race

Jason Addy
York Dispatch

As the calendar inches ever closer to the Nov. 7 municipal election, York City Mayor Kim Bracey’s re-election campaign has picked up another endorsement from one of Pennsylvania’s top Democrats.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania’s highest-ranking elected official in Washington, is backing Bracey for a third term as York City mayor because she is a “tireless advocate” for the city, according to a news release from Mike Mikus, Bracey’s campaign consultant.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey speaks at the York City Police Department about possible cuts to law enforcement budgets Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. He said cuts are possible to Byrne Justice Assistance Grants and Community Oriented Policing Services. York City Mayor Kim Bracey and York City Police Chief Wes Kahley also spoke at the press conference. Bill Kalina photo

In the release, Casey echoed Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s Oct. 12 endorsement, pointing to a significant drop in crime during the first eight years of Bracey’s administration.

“Mayor Bracey is a dedicated public servant whose strength and determination has produced substantial results for the people of York, and I am proud to endorse her,” Casey said in the news release.

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

More:York City to host gun buyback, replace 8 retiring officers

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.

Like Wolf, Casey credited Bracey with driving investment in the city and “making York a better place to live and work.”

Bracey is running against York City Council President Michael Helfrich and York City school board member David Moser 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. Moser is running as a Libertarian Party candidate.

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

All three candidates will participate in a debate at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 26, at Marketview Arts, 35 W. Philadelphia St. 

‘Working together’: Bracey said she and Casey enjoy a “very positive working relationship,” having collaborated on efforts to maintain several federal funding avenues that are essential to the city's financial health.

More:Casey in York City to champion funding for police

Casey and Bracey held a news conference in September at the York City Police Department to champion the Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring program, which provides federal funding to local law enforcement.

Bracey said she and Casey also have been in regular communication over President Donald Trump's proposed cuts to the federal Community Development Block Grant program, which funds many of the city's programs. 

Having secured the backing of Casey and Wolf, Bracey said the support from the state and federal levels will help underscore her message of being a “proven leader and advocate for York" over the final two weeks of the campaign.

“It’s a good feeling to know that folks recognize the work that’s being done on the ground by mayors across the commonwealth,” Bracey said, speaking as the newly elected president of the Pennsylvania Municipal League. 

Bracey will serve as the association’s president for one year after being elected to the position in early October.