JAMESTOWN – The Democrat who wants to be the next Mayor of Jamestown held a campaign kickoff rally Friday in downtown Jamestown and was joined by dozens of supporters along with other Democratic candidates for local office.
Jamestown attorney and mayoral candidate Eddie Sundquist appeared at the DoubleTree by Hilton early Friday night to officially accept the Jamestown Democratic Committee’s endorsement for the 2019 General Election and also lay out his campaign platform.
Sundquist said he wants to tap into what made Jamestown great in the past to help it move forward in the future.
“As mayor it is my goal to build on our city’s strong foundation and grow our future as we move Jamestown forward. Jamestown is an incredible city built on a proud heritage of immigrants and union workers. We’re a city with grit, unyielding resilience, and incredible potential. But like most cities across New York, we are not without our challenges,” Sundquist said.
- WATCH THE FULL SUNDQUIST SPEECH ON FACEBOOK
- RELATED: EDDIE SUNDQUIST ON WRFA’S COMMUNITY MATTERS (Feb. 28, 2019)
One of the main planks of the Sundquist vision is growing the economy and he said to do that the city must take advantage of 21st century opportunities.
“Who says that we can’t become a technology hub attracting businesses around the country with our low cost of living and rich resources? Who says we can’t wire broadband and fiber to every home and business in this city at a lower cost? Who says we can’t have some of the best parks in Western New York? Together we are creating a city with a vision,” Sundquist said.
And Sundquist said that while attracting new opportunities is important, he said it’s just as important to focus on neighborhood and community revitalization.
“No matter where you live in this city you should feel safe when sitting on your front porch at night. We must have strong, safe, and supportive neighborhoods across our city,” Sundquist said. “We need to deal head-on with the growing addiction crisis and focus on fixing our homes across this area. As we start to tear down, we must also focus on rebuilding and getting people to stay in Jamestown. Proud home ownership, not run down rentals, is the vision we have for our neighborhoods.”
Sundquist added that his goal as mayor would be to build on collaborations within the city between residents and businesses, along with other stakeholders, in order to maximize potential opportunities.
Sundquist, who has not held public office before, has had past campaign experience. In the 2018 Election he ran an unsuccessful campaign when he was among a field of five hopefuls in the bid for the Democratic nomination for Congress (which instead went to Tracy Mitrano and who eventually lost to incumbent Republican Tom Reed). It was Sunduist’s first attempt at running for public office.
In addition to thanking Democrats for their support, Sundquist also announced he has received the endorsement of the Working Families Party in the city, ensuring he will have at least two lines on the November ballot.
Last month Mayor Sam Teresi (D) announced he wasn’t going to seek a sixth term in office, which opened the door for Sundquist.
Sundquist will likely be unchallenged for the Democratic nomination, which means he will be able to focus most of his attention on the November Election. The same can’t be said for the Republican party, where two individuals are vying for the party nomination and will likely square off in a June Primary. They are the Jamestown Republican Committee’s endorsed candidate – county legislator David Wilfong, along with first-term city coucilman at large Andrew Liuzzo.
Also during the rally, several other Democratic candidates for other city offices also spoke to those in attendance, including newcomers who used the event as an opportunity to introduce themselves. They included at Jamestown City Council Large Candidate Taylor Scott, Ward 1 candidate Tim Smeal, and Ward 2 candidate Tom Vitale. Also on hand were incumbent councilmembers Vickye James of Ward 3, Tom Nelson of Ward 6, and Tamu Graham Reinhardt for council at large.
Former council president Greg Rabb, who was not reelected in 2017, is also seeking to be reelected to the council for the third at large seat.
Both Democratic incumbents Marie Carrubba of Ward 4 and Maria Jones of Ward 5 were unable to attend due to prior commitments.