Kim Bracey (D)
Wendell K. Banks (R)
Bracey elected York mayor
Kim Bracey was overwhelmingly elected to be York's next leader Tuesday night, becoming the first black mayor in a city that has long fought a history of racial tension.
The Democrat will take the reins from John Brenner, who said last summer that his second term as mayor would be his last.
With all of the precincts reporting, Bracey won with 2,582 votes while Republican Wendell K. Banks received 602, according to unofficial results.
Bracey, 45, celebrated her victory inside Sam and Tony's Restaurant early in the night, hugging supporters and making an acceptance speech. She said she was excited, though tired, and would first work to put together a community advisory review team to work on fresh ideas for York and build on the past eight years.
Bracey, who has said she will be the mayor for all York residents, said recent national media attention had caused her to really think about the historic nature of her election.
"It's overwhelming," she said. "I embrace the fact that York has made history. ... It's exciting."
Some voters reflected on the milestone at the polls.
"We have a black president," said Ed Woodard, who voted at Jackson Elementary. "I don't know why we can't have a black mayor."
Bracey, who had Brenner's support, was favored to win in the heavily Democratic city.
She faced opposition from Banks, a Republican minister whose intentions were questioned when he missed a scheduled debate, and independent Steven Young, who launched a write-in campaign in August.
There were 246 write-in votes. Who the votes were for will not be available for a week or two.
Bracey, a city native, campaigned on promises to promote economic development and better the relationship between the police department and the community.
She said she'd work to get the city's finances in order and put together an administrative team to address the city's challenges, making changes when necessary.
Banks had lobbied for bringing an NFL team to York and cracking down on drug dealers. He promised to "trim the fat" in the city budget in order to lower taxes.
Young had said the relationship between the city police department and the community topped his list of priorities and promised to improve upon it in order to reduce crime.