The committee already met on Feb. 13 to discuss possible candidates for the 2019 election but members were unable to come forward with an endorsement. At that time, GOP Committee chair Brent Sheldon told WRFA the group felt more time was needed and will now meet on Feb. 19 and bring forward an endorsement.
The year’s city mayoral race features an open seat with the announcement earlier this month by current Mayor Sam Teresi (D) that he won’t be seeking reelection.
So far the only Republican to come forward and announce his intention to run is current councilman Andrew Liuzzo (R-At Large).
Another name being floated around is ranking city councilman Tony Dolce, who’s also currently teaching in the Jamestown Public School district. WRFA asked him Feb. 3 following Teresi’s announcement if he planned to make a run for mayor and while Dolce did acknowledge it’s something he’ll seriously consider, he wasn’t ready to commit one way or the other.
“I’ve always thought about it. I still have my job at Jamestown High School. So there’s a lot of things that have to come into play and it’s a decision that would have to come from the committee and I have some soul-searching to do in thinking about it as well. [Teresi’s announcement] obviously took my by surprise. We’ll go from here and again we’ll look at all different options and then move forward,” Dolce said at the time.
Meanwhile, the Jamestown Democratic Committee will likely announce its endorsement for mayor on Thursday. While no one has formally announced their intention to run, city resident and 2018 congressional candidate Eddie Sundquist tells WRFA that he has approached the committee to say he would be interested in running for mayor, but wouldn’t get in the way if party officials opt to go with another individual.
Even though anyone can run for a political office regardless of whether or not they receive the endorsement from party officials, Chautauqua County election commission Norman Green recently explained why the endorsement can be key in running for office.
“The advantage of getting the party’s nod is that the party has committee people who are going to go out and circulate petitions for you,” Green explained to WRFA during his Feb. 7 interview. “It’s quite an undertaking. It’s hundreds of signatures you have to go out and get as a candidate and its nice to have the party officials behind you.”
Because of changes in state election law, candidates must begin circulating petitions to get their name on the November Ballot at the end of this month, with a deadline to hand in the required number of signatures by April 1. If more than one candidate from the same party is seeking a nomination for the same political office, a primary will take place in June.