About Eric

I am a Democrat running for Mayor of Harrisburg because I am dedicated to making our capital city a welcoming, vibrant and progressive place to live, work and play. As a husband and father, I want to ensure that Harrisburg is a safe and nurturing community to raise a family. As a business owner, I want to ensure that Harrisburg solves its financial problems. As a former teacher, I want to ensure our schools provide quality education for the next generation of Harrisburg leaders. And as a citizen and property owner, I want to ensure that our capital city doesn't sink into bankruptcy and despair. No one can solve these problems alone. Together, we can!

Eric Papenfuse

Proven in business. Committed to the entire community. Eric Papenfuse is running for mayor of Harrisburg.

Proven in business. Committed to the entire community. Eric Papenfuse is running for mayor of Harrisburg.

I have been working for many years to help Harrisburg grow and thrive.  I have a successful business and am raising a family in the city, the strongest sign of my commitment and determination to this community.  If you want to know more about my background and service, here are details in my bio:

As the founder and CEO of the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, Eric has created more than 250 jobs in the past decade. His current staff is a diverse workforce of more than 60 employees.  His Midtown Scholar Bookstore-Café serves as an important community resource and cultural center, bringing together people from Harrisburg’s diverse neighborhoods.  Eric’s main business headquarters is a 50,000 square-foot warehouse on North Sixth Street stocked with more than one million books.  His company is among the region’s largest national and international shippers.

A former public school teacher, Eric taught Latin at Central Dauphin East and Linglestown Junior High Schools, where he served as chair of the Foreign Language department.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1971 to an elementary-school reading teacher and a state-government archivist, Eric attended Yale University for college and graduate school.  He studied American history and government and was the only member of his undergraduate class to earn both Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in four years, summa cum laude.  A published author and prize-winning scholar, his teaching and research explore the moral dilemmas of slavery and the fractious national political environment in the years after the American Revolution.

Eric lives in Harrisburg with his wife Cathy and three children (Clara, 10; Everett age 9, and Chauncey, 4).  Eric and his family settled in Harrisburg in 1999 after Cathy accepted a post as Assistant Professor of History at Messiah College. It was not long after their move to Harrisburg that the couple went into the book business, a move that has enriched our capital city and its residents.


My Private Life

I am a husband and the father of three wonderful children. Catherine and I have made our home in Harrisburg. We love this city.  Our business is here, but more than that, our friends are here.  We join hands with all of the residents of Harrisburg to move our capital city beyond the embarrassment and despair that threaten its future to a new and brighter tomorrow.

One person can't ensure hope for our children.  But together, we can!


About the Campaign Staff

Our campaign staff consists of incredibly gifted individuals dedicated to the success of this campaign. I am proud to present key staff members here:


Michael Stewart
Campaign Manager
ichael Stewart is a native of Harrisburg and is active in political and community affairs.  Michael works with a team of volunteers to organize events for the Papenfuse for Mayor campaign and to get voters to the polls on election day.  Mike is well known throughout Harrisburg and is dedicated to working for all of its residents.


Joyce M. Davis
Communications Director
As our chief communications director, Joyce Davis works with our team to ensure that our campaign stays on message. Davis brings decades of communications and journalism experience to the campaign, as well as expertise in public speaking, writing and non-profit          management.


Neil Grover
Legal Counsel
eil Grover is a Harrisburg attorney and founder of Debt Watch Harrisburg, a taxpayers' advocacy group. As a lawyer in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, attorney Grover serves Dauphin County, as well as clients throughout Pennsylvania.


Sonya Baltimore
Office Manager
Sonya Baltimore is office manager and supervises the staff and volunteers. Sonya is a Harrisburg native and has extensive experience in public service and community activism. She served as office manager for former U.S. Rep. Tim Holden and brings significant organizational and people skills to the Papenfuse for Mayor campaign.