Democrat Danene Sorace will succeed Rick Gray as Lancaster’s mayor.
Sorace prevailed over Republican Cindy Stewart and three independent candidates Tuesday, securing a commanding 73 percent of the vote.
The mayor-elect said she feels the gravity of the responsibility to serve all city residents. She thanked voters, saying their “overwhelming” support “is humbling, and I will not take it for granted.”
With all 40 precincts reporting, the unofficial results were:
- Danene Sorace (D): 4,784
- Cindy Stewart (R): 1,483
- Tony Dastra: 147
- Zac Nesbitt: 69
- John “Woody” Chandler: 67
Sorace’s victory was part of a Democratic sweep, with the party’s four City Council candidates, including incumbent Pete Soto, prevailing over their two Republican counterparts.
With all 40 precincts reporting, the unofficial City Council results were:
- Ismail Smith-Wade-El (D): 4,486
- Janet Diaz (D): 4,576
- Faith Craig (D): 4,398
- Pete Soto (D): 4,252
- Paul Culbreth (R): 1,965
- Frank Cabanas (R): 1,526
The Democrats’ treasurer and controller candidates, Chris Ballentine and incumbent E. William Andrews, ran unopposed.
The results maintain the Democrats’ lock on elected city positions.
Stewart said she had a great team and is very proud of her campaign.
“Clearly, the registration advantage was just too much to overcome,” she said.
Democrats make up 60 percent of the city electorate, versus 20 percent Republicans and 20 percent third-party or independent.
Stewart said she plans to take a “deep breath” and look at how she can help Lancaster most going forward.
Sorace will be the city’s second female mayor, after Democrat Janice Stork, who served from 1990 to 1998.
She and Stewart stressed a number of similar themes in the campaign, pledging to extend the economic development seen in Lancaster’s downtown into its neighborhoods, improve access to good jobs and make city government more responsive to residents.
Sorace, 45, said she would build on the progress made by Gray. She emphasized her experience dealing with city government as a consultant, a four-year City Council member and head of council’s finance committee.
She was endorsed by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 89, which represents more than 200 city workers.
Stewart, 64, a retired nonprofit executive, emphasized her experience in transitional leadership and her collaborative approach. She positioned herself as the candidate of change and as someone who would be more attentive to the needs of the city’s southwest and southeast neighborhoods.
Stewart received the endorsement of the city’s firefighters’ union, which has sparred with Gray’s administration over various matters, including the retention of Tim Gregg as acting fire chief. She said she welcomes Sorace’s promise of a “reset” on city-firefighter relations.
Gray, a Democrat who is leaving office after three terms, had previously endorsed Sorace in the primary. In that contest, she prevailed against Kevin Ressler, a community advocate and executive director of Meals on Wheels, and Norman Bristol Colon, a consultant and advocate for Latino causes. Bristol Colon has since taken a job as special asssitant to Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State.