JAMESTOWN – Longtime incumbent Jamestown City Councilman Anthony Dolce will face a primary challenge for the Republican Nomination from Raven Thompson.
Thompson, in an exclusive interview with WNYNewsNow, said there is a change in public opinions in the City of Jamestown. She did not criticize Dolce’s tenure as councilman, but said there is a shift in opinions among city voters.
She also said people do not get much of a voice when addressing city issues.
“If we look at what’s been taking place in the last two years even, the time is now. I believe some of the discussion was people are seeking change and I think even more than change, were seeking something new. I even called it last night, new beginnings,”Thompson said. “I think there’s a changeover of mindsets and so I think that’s the pursuit as of why now.”
Dolce told WNYNewsNow that he was surprised by the primary challenge and will continue to stand on his record and work hard to serve the residents of Jamestown.
“Well, I figured when she wanted the endorsement, I’m a little confused as to why she would want to run a primary against me, that being said, it is what it is,” Dolce said.
“It’s really something I think God’s put on my heart, nothing personally against Tony and his service,” she said. “I believe it’s all about, call it religious, that’s where our reference point and values stem from.”
Dolce said he will run on his record and hard work.
“I’ve served the Second Ward for a long time and I have great support up here by Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike and I look forward to serving another two years and I’ll go out and work hard and continue to do what I do for the Second Ward and the City of Jamestown,” Dolce said.
Saying residents get ignored or intimidated when addressing city government, Thompson said that needs to change.
“I think giving people a voice, having attended the work sessions and city council meetings, I don’t feel there is a voice, I don’t feel there’s a listening ear. There’s actually quite a bit of resistance and intimidation in the process of being heard and choosing to hear what’s really being said,” she said.
Dolce responded to Thompson’s charge.
“I don’t really know what she means by that. I’ve been probably the most outspoken and vocal. We have a neighborhood chat that includes hundreds of people in our district. I’m always front and center and I always communicate at council meetings and explain resolutions and certainly been up front with all my constituents. I think my record of responding to, and acting on, constituent issues and complaints has been very good over the years and I think the fact I’ve been re-elected several times shows that,” Dolce said.
He repeated his disappointment with Thompson’s challenge.
“I’m a little disappointed. I don’t think she’s been in my district very long, I don’t really know how long she’s lived there,” Dolce said. “It would have been nice to know ahead of time if she wanted to run for another spot.”
“I’m not really sure why she wants to go primary against someone in her own party. That being said I think my record in the district speaks for itself,” he said.
Efforts to reach Jamestown Republican Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon were unsuccesful as of 12:30 p.m.