Out Harrisburg politico to run for mayor
by Jen Colletta
Sep 07, 2011 | 1223 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
While Harrisburg Controller Dan Miller has not made his official campaign announcement, all indications are that he seeks to become the city’s next mayor.

Miller, who is openly gay, would face off against other Democratic candidates in the May 2013 primary, which would likely decide the race, since Harrisburg is majority Democrat.

The current mayor, Linda Thompson, has been roundly criticized by the public, city councilmembers and former staffers; the city is currently on the verge of default and is facing state takeover.

If elected, Miller would become the first openly gay mayor ever elected in Pennsylvania.

Miller has not made his campaign announcement yet but is hosting a fundraiser for a possible mayoral bid from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 22 at 2301 Bellevue Road in Harrisburg.

The host committee for the event includes several current city councilmembers. Miller sat on City Council from 2006-09, and was elected to the controller position last year.

While on council, Miller wrote the legislation for the city’s domestic-partner law, which was adopted.

A certified public accountant by profession, Miller said his day job and his work in city government would make him an ideal candidate for the city’s top job.

“When I look at Harrisburg, our biggest problems are financial in nature,” he said. “I’m a CPA and I have an MBA in finance and 30 years with a CPA firm. I don’t think there’s anyone else who will have the financial knowledge, experience and credentials that I have, in addition to the experience of being an elected official in Harrisburg. I thought that was a good match and decided I should step up.”

Miller said he’s unsure what impact his being openly gay could have on the race, but noted his election could be integral to heightening the visibility of the LGBT community.

“I do think it’s important to have openly gay elected officials who perform well and who are respected by the voters and the citizens for doing a good job,” he said.

Miller said he will be going forward with fundraising efforts and plans to make his official announcement soon, as candidates can begin collecting signatures to get on the ballot in February 2013.

“That’s about 18 months away, so it’s important we’re prepared, and we plan to do this in a really cohesive and professional manner,” Miller said.

Jen Colletta can be reached at jen@epgn.com.

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