GOP Mayor of Carlisle Abruptly Resigns to Become News Reporter

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Kirk R. Wilson announced Monday afternoon that after 6 terms as Mayor of Carlisle, he will resign his post on January 3rd to become a news reporter for CBS 21 in Harrisburg.  Wilson, who holds a journalism and communications degree from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, has decided to transition from making news to reporting on it.

Cumberland County politicos have long been conjecturing as to whether Wilson would run again for lucky term number 7 in 2013 when his current term expires.  Wilson, who had an uncharacteristically poor showing in his unsuccessful run for Cumberland County Commissioner in the 2011 Republican Primary, was seen as an increasingly vulnerable mayoral candidate for the first time in a long time.

Making his announcement at the Carlisle Police Department Headquarters, Wilson said that “After 26 years, I’m stepping down. I am leaving the world of politics and re-entering the world of journalism.”

With Wilson stepping down, speculation about who will replace him has already begun.  Cumberland County Democratic Committee Chairman Michael Fedor, via email, said that

Carlisle is a vital community to our County’s future.  I’m excited to learn who among the community will step forward to succeed Kirk with a vision and a plan to work closely with Borough Council to ensure Carlisle remains an essential anchor to commerce, government, and education in our region.

When reached for comment, three-term Carlisle Borough Councilman Tim Scott, a rumored Democratic favorite for 2013, said

We all have role models in politics.  People we watch and learn from as we find our own style and way of serving the people who elected us.  Kirk Wilson is certainly among mine.  Kirk has been Mayor of Carlisle since before I started paying attention to local politics.  In that time he has transformed the Office of Mayor in the Borough of Carlisle from statutory figurehead to that of vibrant political leader of not only the police force but of the Carlisle region.  His will be big shoes to fill.

Councilman Scott, a progressive Democrat, has worked closely with Mayor Wilson throughout his three terms, joining the Mayor in the revitalization of Carlisle’s downtown, improving the quality of life for Carlisle residents through traffic calming, decreasing the cost of Carlisle government operations, and investing in Carlisle’s infrastructure.

The Carlisle Borough Council will have 30 days to appoint a successor to Wilson who will serve the remainder of Wilson’s term until 2013.

About Jake Sternberger

Jake Sternberger is a recovering/relapsing political professional who has been a contributor to Keystone Politics since 2011. Sternberger covers campaigns and elections for KP, drawing from his experience working on local, county, congressional, and statewide PA races doing field, oppo, comms, and as CM. He is currently a law student. Email: jakes@keystonepolitics.com Twitter: @JakeSternberger
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