Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Back to Back: County Democrats nominate Dave Madsen for Harrisburg Council seat.

Dave Madsen makes his pitch to members of the Dauphin County Democratic Committee before tonight’s nomination vote.

Dave Madsen’s service on City Council got a likely two-year extension on Wednesday night, thanks to a vote of confidence from the Dauphin County Democratic Committee.

At a packed nomination meeting in the Kline Library, DCDC voted to make Madsen the party candidate for the November city council election. Madsen beat out four other nominees to clinch his spot on the ballot.

His victory came one day after he was appointed by council to serve a four-month term, filling the seat vacated by Jeffrey Baltimore in August. Madsen will run for the same seat in November to serve out the remaining two years of Baltimore’s term.

Madsen’s win in November is all but inevitable, since the county Republicans have not put forth a candidate for the seat.

Madsen secured 21 of the committee’s 44 votes at Wednesday’s nomination meeting. Devan Drabik, the city’s business development director who said she would quit her job to take a council seat, followed with 18 votes. Three votes went to former city Councilwoman Patricia Stringer. Steven Williams, who was absent from the meeting, and Jennie Jenkins, who announced her withdrawal before the vote took place, got a single vote each.

Since Madsen faces likely election in November, he plans to focus most of his energy during the campaign season on promoting other Democratic candidates, he said.

“It’s about pushing the ticket,” he said after the meeting. “We have competitive races for the state Supreme Court and at the county level.”

Madsen said that his most immediate priority as a council member will be helping the city approve a 2018 budget. After that, he hopes to work on local campaign finance reform.

“It’s something that’s talked about a lot at the national and state level, and I’m looking forward to promoting it locally,” Madsen said.

He also came out in favor of mayoral term limits, a topic of debate at last night’s council work session. Madsen said he supports 12-year term limits for both the executive and legislative branches.

When asked about long-term financial planning for the city, Madsen said that he would approve a Home Rule charter “as a last ditch effort” and only after a one-year campaign to engage and educate the public. He also supports the city’s application for a three-year extension on its Act 47 status and intends to speak with Harrisburg’s state representatives about maintaining the local services tax at its current rate.

Author: Lizzy Hardison

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