JAMESTOWN – City councilman Andrew Liuzzo (R-At Large) announced Tuesday that he would accept the Libertarian Party’s nomination as candidate for Mayor of Jamestown, following his failed effort last month to gain the GOP nomination.
“After much consideration and with the support of my family I’ve chosen to accept the Libertarian endorsement for mayor of the city of Jamestown. I’m grateful to the support form the Libertarian Committee, who have given us another opportunity to give voice to the citizens of this great city,” Liuzzo said while standing in front of his childhood home on Hazard Street with several supporters on hand.
The announcement comes after the Chautauqua County Libertarian Party committee met last week and announced it had nominated Liuzzo to be the candidate for mayor.
Liuzzo had sought the GOP nomination for mayor but was defeated 528-284 in the June primary by county legislator David Wilfong. He had said during the GOP primary campaign that he would not seek nor accept any other party’s nomination for mayor. However, he said he had to reconsider once he learned the Libertarians were making him their choice for mayor.
“When the primary was over, I did say that the citizens will make their choice for who they think is best fit to run this city. I didn’t commit to either side but I had no way of knowing that I was still being vetted for the Libertarian party,” Liuzzo said. “Once the Libertarian party said that they would endorse me, I gave this a lot of thought. That endorsement came almost a week ago and it’s taken me this many days to come out and say, ‘Yes. I’m going to accept that endorsement.'”
Liuzzo said he will continue to campaign for mayor with the same message he carried during the primary, and that’s with a pledge to question current city policies while also pushing for more transparencies.
Liuzzo is serving his first term on the city council after running for the first time in 2017 as an At Large candidate. Of the six candidates seeking the three at large seats in that race, Liuzzo came in second with 2,075 votes.
“I have been steadfast in representing the citizens and asking the questions on how and why we spend our money the way we do,” Liuzzo said. “I have consistently asked questions to have full transparency and accountability from the mayor and the city council. During the 18 months that I have served as city councilman at large, it has been obvious that I am not well-liked in city government. It was made clear to me very early on that my approach was out of step with other members of the city council.”
County Libertarian Party Chair Andrew Kolstee was on hand for the announcement and explained why Liuzzo was tapped to be his party’s candidate for mayor of Jamestown.
“He differentiates himself from all the other elected officials. He asks more questions and challenges government and that’s what we do, the Libertarian party challenges government. He’s striving for transparency and less regulations in the city charter. Those kinds of things are what Libertarians are in support of,” Kolstee said.
The Libertarian party is considered a new party on the ballot for this year’s elections and as a result, state law gives it more time to nominate candidates for the November election.
Tuesday’s announcement by Liuzzo means there will be a three-way race for the open mayoral seat, with Wilfong being the Republican candidate and attorney Eddie Sundquist being the Democratic candidate. Current mayor Sam Teresi had announced in February he would not seek a sixth consecutive term in office.