JAMESTOWN – Endorsed Republican Mayoral Candidate Dave Wilfong (R) officially kicked off his campaign Tuesday night during a meet-and-greet at Sauce restaurant, 306 N. Main St.
Wilfong was joined by other longtime candidates including Ward 1 Councilman Brent Sheldon, Ward 2 Councilman Tony Dolce, At-Large Councilwoman Kimberly Ecklund, Chautauqua County District 12 Legislator Elisabeth Rankin, and County Executive George Borrello who is now running for the vacated 57th District’s State Senate seat.
A number of political newcomers also announced their candidate for city council Tuesday. Brittnay Spry is running for Jamestown’s fourth ward seat, Grant Olson the fifth ward, Gregory Lindquist for at-large, and former Jamestown Police Officer Jeff Russell for the at-large spot.
Wilfong in an interview with WNYNewsNow following the event said he is impressed with the political newcomers stepping forward to run for office.
“I think our ticket is going to kick the door open when it comes to change in the City of Jamestown,” said Wilfong. “I think the residents of this city are looking for change and this year’s Republican ticket is (going to) bring the change that people want.”
Wilfong said there are a lot of great candidates that come from a broad spectrum of lifestyles.
“Most of our candidates have lived in this city for quite some time and they have seen what is gone on and want to step up and make a change,” explained Wilfong. “They actually sought us out and said ‘hey, we (want to) run for office’ and I tell you right now that is a good thing to hear.”
The longtime county legislator said he is looking forward to making a number of changes if elected mayor; starting with the city’s arbitration policies.
“I don’t know why we continue arbitration, it never seems to go our way and we continue to appeal, we continue to appeal,” said Wilfong. “At the county level we started striking deals with the unions and we’ve been very successful, I plan to bring that to Jamestown too.”
Wilfong will face Andrew Liuzzo on Tuesday, June 25 in the Republican Primary. The mayoral candidate said so far on this journey around the city he has learned a lot from voters.
“Five and a half years in a row we have lowered taxes, there are more jobs in Chautauqua County than we started, and I think I am the kind of politician when you send me to do a job I get it done, ” said Wilfong. “I hope I get the people’s support for the primary and the general election.”