From left to right: Dan Miller, Eric Papenfuse and Lewis Butts
(Harrisburg) -- Finances, law enforcement and education dominated Harrisburg’s first mayoral debate of the general election season.
The first question of the night asked the candidates to address the capital city's new recovery plan, and Harrisburg Controller Dan Miller told the overflow crowd he believes the only ones making any concessions are the citizens.
“The truth is that the debt doesn’t go away," Miller says. "It’s smoke and mirrors. The debt has been shifted. It’s still there, we still have to pay for it.”
Miller is a Democrat who will appear as a Republican on next month's ballot after receiving enough write-in votes to win the GOP nomination. He's touting his extensive financial background in the campaign.
But Democratic nominee Eric Papenfuse says the city doesn't need an accountant, it needs a leader to execute the so-called Harrisburg Strong plan.
“It’s a brief window of opportunity that if we seize, and if we have the right leadership, we can make the most of the opportunity and we can bring Harrisburg back,” he says.
Write-in candidate Lewis Butts also participated in Thursday’s debate, which was hosted by Harrisburg Hope and Harrisburg Area Community College.
Independent Nevin Mindlin did not take part, but continues to fight to get his name back on the ballot. A Dauphin County judge threw Mindlin off the ballot in August.
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