JAMESTOWN – Chautauqua County Legislator Dave Wilfong (District 11) officially received the GOP endorsement for the 2019 Jamestown Mayoral Race during a city GOP meeting Tuesday evening at the Elks Club.
City Councilman At-Large Andrew Liuzzo, who announced his candidacy for Mayor earlier this month, told WNYNewsNow Tuesday evening that he “absolutely” plans on challenging Wilfong for the GOP nomination in a primary this June. The winner of the primary would receive the official GOP nomination for the November General Election.
“Elections are decided by the people,” Liuzzo said. When asked whether or not the endorsing of Wilfong shocked him, Liuzzo said, “I’m not surprised.”
Several people, including former City Councilwoman At-Large Vanessa Weinert (D), have expressed their disapproval of Liuzzo’s tenure as a City Councilman. Liuzzo said that he wouldn’t take anything back that he’s said or done, thus far, in his tenure, which began in 2017.
“I have no regrets during my tenure,” Liuzzo said. “I don’t vote ‘no’ because I’m an obstructionist. I vote ‘no’ because I didn’t agree (with various resolutions).”
Liuzzo said that, despite the GOP’s decision, he believes that “better days” are still ahead.
“I’m still listening, and better days are coming,” Liuzzo said. “When I become mayor, I will have experienced people around me. I only want the best of the best.”
Liuzzo detailed how he has plenty of management and leadership experience to help him succeed as the next Jamestown mayor. Liuzzo explained how, for over 20 years, he ran Yankee Painter and Wallpaper, Inc. During that time, Liuzzo said that he was able to pay all of his bills accordingly without ever having to borrow money. In addition, Liuzzo said he always ran the business in the “black.”
For another 20 years, Liuzzo served as an occupational therapist (OT) assistant after receiving further education. Liuzzo said that, a little over a year after becoming an OT’s assistant, he began to run therapy departments for several rehab units in multiple states.
Earlier this month, current mayor Sam Teresi announced that he would not be seeking re-election after serving in his position since 2000.
Jamestown’s Democratic Party, meanwhile, will be meeting Thursday evening to decide who they’ll endorse for the 2019 mayoral election. City lawyer, Eddie Sundquist, told WNYNewsNow last week that he did express interest in receiving the party’s endorsement.
WNYNewsNow has left a message with Wilfong for comment. When and if the call is returned, we will publish a follow-up.