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Harrisburg mayoral candidate debate features three candidates

Updated: Friday, October 18 2013, 09:47 AM CDT
Reported by: Ewa Roman

HARRISBURG -- It was another night filled with debate from three candidates running for Harrisburg Mayor: Dan Miller, who is running on the Republican ticket; Eric Papenfuse, a Democrat; and Lewis Butts, a write-in candidate, who isn't on the ballot.

Wednesday night, the write-in candidate for Harrisburg Mayor wasn't allowed to be part of the party at a debate inside the State Museum.

"I was at (the last debate), yeah. The last one and the one before that, I'll be at the African American chamber of commerce debate tomorrow," Butts said at the time.

"But tonight you're not allowed?" CBS 21 news asked him Wednesday night.
"Yeah, that is racism," Butts replied.

But, Thursday night, at the African American Chamber of Commerce Harrisburg Mayoral Debate, Butts was seated in between the two men actually on the ballot, Miller and Papenfuse.

This latest debated mirrored previous ones with Miller against the Strong Plan.
"He thinks the strong plan is so wonderful. It's completely inadequate. I just want to bring up one point and that is other post-employment benefits and that's health insurance basically for our retirees, this plan almost completely fails to address that," Miller said.

Papenfuse is for the Strong Plan.

"With regard to sewer and water and the neighboring municipalities, they support the Strong Plan, they support it because that is resolving the litigation which the city is currently battling," Papenfuse said.

As for Butts, he has his own plan.

"He had this Strong Plan that the receiver did. Don't belly off what someone else did and use it in support. Bring something new to the game. I'm going to spearhead the hydroelectric dam, because the river never stops. We must harness the river and then our revenue as well as our raw power we won't have to be dependent on PPL," Butts said.

Some of those listening liked what they heard from Butts.

"Mr. Butts had some, I know he was entertaining, but if you listened to him he really had some good ideas regarding the use of the river," Lorraine Calien, a Harrisburg resident, said.

"I think Mr. Butts, he had a lot of great ideas and I'm hoping whoever the mayor will be takes those ideas and tweaks them a little bit," Thomas Alton, also a Harrisburg resident, said.

Butts' ideas include growing a farm on one of the islands in the middle of the Susquehanna River, tolling local bridges, and adding programs to help end homelessness.Harrisburg mayoral candidate debate features three candidates


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