JAMESTOWN – Two area Democrat officials will not seek re-election for their positions in 2021.
Jamestown City Council At-Large member Tamu Graham-Reinhardt and Chautauqua County Legislator Chuck Nazzaro (District 9) have elected not to run this fall, according to Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist and Chautauqua County Democratic Election Commissioner Norm Green respectively.
Graham-Reinhardt participated in a Zoom call with City Democrats and other local media members Thursday night. Graham-Reinhardt says it was time to step aside.
“I’m a firm believer in grassroots and citizens becoming very active in government, and what I recognize is that there are a lot of things about City government that people don’t know,” Graham-Reinhardt said. “The more who have an opportunity to see behind the certain, the better it is. I feel like I’ve done what I came to do on Council, and would like to give other people in the City the opportunity to move their agendas forward.”
Graham-Reinhardt furthers that the Democrats have a solid list of candidates for the three At-Large spots.
“I think the slate of candidates we have are good ones, and would love to be able to offer the opportunity to people who wanted to, but out of maybe respect for the sitting Councilmembers have not,” Graham-Reinhardt continued. “I felt it was time to me to hand it over to a candidate who was interested in doing that.”
The councilwoman was appointed by former Mayor Sam Teresi in 2019 to serve as an interim member of the Council after former Councilwoman At-Large Vanessa Weinert stepped down. Graham-Reinhart was elected on a full-time basis later in 2019.
Christina Cardinale, Ellen Ditonto and Alyssa Porter will be the three Democrat At-Large candidates for this fall. Cardinale ran unsuccessfully for State Assembly last fall, while Ditonto currently serves in a variety of positions, including as the chairperson for the City Zoning Board of Appeals.
Porter, meanwhile, is the Director of Youth and Family Programs for the Chautauqua Institution.
Green says that Billy Torres, a Jamestown resident, will seek to replace Nazzaro. Nazarro has served seven terms as a County Legislator, and is currently the Legislature’s Minority Leader.
WNY News Now will have more on the political announcement on Friday.