Harrisburg's newest mayoral candidate enters the race - abc27 WHTM

Harrisburg's newest mayoral candidate enters the race

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Updated to correct that Curtis is not a write-in candidate, but will be listed on the ballot under the "Curtis For Mayor" party.


Harrisburg's mayoral race is about to heat up again.

Nathaniel Curtis, 25, is set to announce his candidacy Wednesday afternoon.

Curtis, a staff sergeant in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, returned from a deployment to Afghanistan in April and began collecting signatures.

"After speaking with my wife as I was overseas in Afghanistan, we came up with the idea via Skype that I should run for mayor because of my history here and my background here," Curtis said.

Curtis was raised by his single mother in Harrisburg before moving to the West Shore and graduating from East Pennsboro High School. He went on to join the Air Force after high school and earned his degree in public policy from Penn State University.

His father is retired from Harrisburg Bureau of Police where he worked as a detective. His older brother was shot and killed on Woodbine Street back in 2007.

A self-proclaimed "political outsider," Curtis said his family's story has shaped him into a candidate who can relate to the citizens of Harrisburg.

"It's something I want to do: be a leader in this city," he said. "I believe I have a connection with the people of this city that some of the other candidates don't have, and I really feel that connection will really help me in the future."

Curtis said his number one priority is to tackle crime. If elected, he said he plans to cut back in other city departments in order to hire more police officers. He also believes the city residency requirement should be lifted in order to recruit the best candidates for the department.

"Blight in the city cannot be fixed until we fix our crime issue," he said. "We cannot attract businesses and development in the city before addressing our crime issues because they don't feel safe."

Curtis will run under the "Curtis For Mayor" party and will face three candidates in the November election: Eric Papenfuse, a Democrat; Nevin Mindlin, an independent; and Dan Miller, who told abc27 News on Tuesday that he will remain a write-in on the Republican ticket "for now."

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