Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

And They’re Off: The race is on for Harrisburg mayor, council, school board.

Five candidates for mayor, seven candidates for City Council, and 10 candidates for school board.

Harrisburg voters will have three very competitive local races to consider come the May 16 primary, as the deadline passed today for candidates to submit nominating petitions.

The roster of candidates doesn’t offer many surprises, as most had already announced for office or indicated an interest in running.

For mayor, incumbent Eric Papenfuse will face off against former council President Gloria Martin-Roberts, former city police officer Jennie Jenkins, newcomer Anthony Thomas Harrell and old foe Lewis Butts in the Democratic primary. No Republicans submitted petitions to run.

Notably, two candidates who stated an interest in the race did not submit petitions for the primary: former state Assembly candidate Gina Roberson and former council candidate Chris Siennick, who has indicated that he may run as an independent in the general election in November.

For council, three incumbent Democrats filed for four, four-year seats: Wanda Williams, Shamaine Daniels and Ben Allatt. They will face four challengers: former council candidate Jeremiah Chamberlin, school board member Ausha Green, activist Angela Kirkland and Dauphin County Young Democrats leader Dave Madsen. No candidates filed to run on the Republican side.

The Democratic roster for four, four-year seats on the school board includes incumbents Judd Pittman, Danielle Robinson and James Thompson and challengers Brian Carter, Carrie Fowler, Edward Saterstad, Richard Soto, Gerald Welch and Cory Williams. Newcomer Percel Eiland is the only candidate running for the board’s sole two-year seat. Thompson also filed on the Republican side, the only school board candidate to do so.

Incumbent city Treasurer Dan Miller and incumbent city Controller Charlie DeBrunner are running unopposed in the Democratic primary. There is no Republican challenger for either office.

This election cycle, magisterial district judge races also attracted a lot of interest from candidates.

For District 12-1-02, incumbent Justice Barbara Pianka will face off against challengers Joshua Feldman and Marcellus Taylor on the Democratic side. Pianka and Feldman also submitted petitions for the Republican nomination.

For District 12-1-04, Justice David O’Leary will take on challengers Beverly Johnson, Ryan Sanders and former city Treasurer Tyrell Spradley

District 12-1-05 is an open seat, as longtime Justice George Zozos decided not to seek re-election. The candidates for this seat include Harrisburg City Councilwoman Destini Hodges, former Councilman Kelly Summerford, Hanif Johnson and Claude Phipps, who also filed on the Republican side.

Because Harrisburg is overwhelmingly Democratic, the primary is typically the most significant election in selecting the city’s office-holders.

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