Syracuse mayoral candidates shift focus to general election

Walsh, Lavine, Perez Williams, and Hawkins are all actively seeking the Syracuse mayoral position.

The Democratic primary race for Syracuse mayor ended last night with former Navy Lieutenant Commander and attorney Juanita Perez-Williams taking the Democratic party line on the ballot, after her convincing win over Joe Nicoletti and Marty Masterpole.

Now, attention shifts from the primary to the general election in November. Perez Williams, Republican Laura Lavine, Independent and Reform Party candidate Ben Walsh, and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, are all prepared to campaign for the job over the next eight weeks.

CNYCentral sat down with each of the four active candidates in the race for Syracuse mayor, asking them what they think are the most considerable challenges the city faces.

Reform candidate Ben Walsh aims to use his passion and experience to help combat poverty.

"Poverty is a significant challenge in this community, we need to help put more people in positions where they can pursue economic opportunity," Walsh said.

Republican candidate Laura Lavine wants to put an end to violence in the city.

"Unfortunately, we had a record homicide rate last year and a lot of that I believe is largely attributed to the fact that we don't have a fully staffed police department. We're down approximately 50 officers," Lavine said.

Howie Hawkins of the Green Party hopes to get those facing poverty back into the city's workforce. His short-term goal is, "to help poor people with access to city funded jobs."

Hawkins believes that, "instead of incentives for absentee-owned businesses that take profits out of the community, the incentive should go to developing work around cooperatives."

Democrat Juanita Perez Williams wants every neighbor in the city to feel like their voice is being heard.

"Neighborhood revitalization. It's going to every neighborhood you know finding out exactly what people are hoping for, with regard to their needs, their streets, jobs, whatever it is their children need," Perez Williams said.

A question that remains unanswered is how involved Joe Nicoletti will be in the race. The Democrat lost the primary Tuesday night, but retains a line on the ballot with the Working Families Party. Nicoletti has not yet said if he will continue an active campaign for mayor.

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