Harrisburg Council race begins to take form as Allatt declines run for 2021 – The Burg Information

City council member Ben Allatt, center, speaks during a meeting last January.

The political season in Harrisburg is off to an early start, as another office-holder has announced his intentions for 2021.

In a statement, two-term City Council member Ben Allatt said that he would not seek another term.

“After careful consideration, I have made the decision not to run for re-election to Harrisburg City Council,” stated Allatt, vice president of the seven-member body. “This is not a decision I make lightly because of my genuine love for this city and all of its residents.”

Previously, council’s long-serving member, President Wanda Williams, has told TheBurg that she does not intend to run for re-election in 2021.

In all, four, four-year council seats will be on the ballot for the May primary, including those held by council members Shamaine Daniels and Ausha Green, who have yet to publicly announce their intentions.

The race for mayor is also starting to take shape.

Online and in an ad in TheBurg’s December issue, David Schankweiler, the former publisher of the Central Penn Business Journal and the former chair of the state-appointed Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, said that he plans to challenge two-term Mayor Eric Papenfuse for the Democratic nomination. According to sources, former city council member Otto Banks also is weighing a run.

In his statement, Allatt, who currently serves as chair of council’s budget and finance committee, said that he was stepping back from public life to focus on his “personal life” and that we would continue to serve on the Governor’s Commission for LGBTQ Affairs.

During his council tenure, Allatt stated that he was most proud for being a “steward for fiscal responsibility” and cited the commonwealth’s recent decision to allow Harrisburg to retain its extra taxing authority as a major victory for the city.

“I would like to thank the residents of the city for the honor of serving you over the past seven years, and I look forward to my final year on City Council,” he said. “I am grateful that you entrusted me to guide the city toward a brighter future.”

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