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Papenfuse talks primary win, "amazing experience" - abc27 WHTM

Papenfuse talks primary win, "amazing experience"

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Fresh off his Primary Election victory, Eric Papenfuse sat down with abc27 to talk about his successful run to become the Democratic nominee for Harrisburg Mayor.

"He just needed to chill with the family," said Joyce Davis, spokesperson for Eric Papenfuse. The Midtown Scholar owner spent the morning basking in the glory with his wife and children. In the afternoon, he took time to speak with abc27 at his bookstore about the victory.

Exhausted. Tired. Happy. Even though he hoped to win, Papenfuse said Tuesday's memorable election night seemed surreal.

"I don't think it's even finally sunk in yet, to be honest with you," he said.

Hours earlier, his bookstore was raucous with cheering supporters. A day later, Papenfuse maneuvered about the "Scholar" as if it was business as usual. However, the store was still decked out in bright orange campaign signs from the previous night.

Papenfuse admitted he needed an extra espresso shot in his coffee. He explained the adrenaline from that moment kept him awake all night.

However he said that time awake allowed him to reflect on his journey to victory. Papenfuse said he, his team and family sacrificed a lot to steer the campaign to success. What he kept remembering were the people he met along the way.

Papenfuse said going door-to-door taught him a lot about the city and the people he hopes to represent.

"It's such an amazing experience," he said. "It shows you really the great differences that we have as well as the similarities and hopes and aspirations that hold us together."

Papenfuse grabbed nearly 40 percent of the primary vote with an unofficial 2,480 votes. He said the numbers inspired him as he said the turnout was an obvious cry for change citywide.

"It wasn't just the mayor's office that voted for change…city council, school board," said Papenfuse. "Here in Harrisburg there's definitely a movement for change, and I'm going to live up to that responsibility."

Papenfuse was quickly reminded his victory only secured his Democratic nomination to be on the General Election ballot come November. His opponent in the race will be Nevin Mindlin, a registered Independent.

Mindlin wasted no time and released a statement on Wednesday. "The fight for Harrisburg's future begins today!" Mindlin also stated, "[I have the] wisdom and the vision that is required to guide our city through these turbulent times."

Papenfuse said there would be plenty of time to tackle Mindlin and campaign for November. For now, he will take a short vacation with the family and begin holding transition forums to engage the public on what they would like to see done if he would win.

"I'm excited about that," said Papenfuse. "I know there's a lot more work to do."

Harrisburg's mayoral race also produced 424 write-in votes on the Republican side. 100 votes are needed to be on the fall ballot. While the Dauphin County Election Board plants to tally the votes on Friday, a person close to Dan Miller said his campaign expected Miller would have at least 100 of those votes. However, this person also said Miller does not expect to run on that ticket.

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