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Scranton Mayoral Candidates Campaign Right Down to Election

The two candidates vying to be the next mayor of Scranton are looking for votes right up until the polls open.
After months of campaigning, the polls for Election Day 2013 are just about to open.

One of the biggest races in northeastern Pennsylvania is for mayor in the city of Scranton.

Democrat Bill Courtright is squaring off against Republican Jim Mulligan.

It will be the first time in more than a decade that voters in Scranton will elect a new mayor. Current mayor Chris Doherty is not seeking re-election.

With Scranton facing a $20 million deficit next year, finances are the top priority for both of the candidates.

With less than 24 hours to go until the polls open, Republican candidate Jim Mulligan was looking for votes at the Scranton farmer's market.

The attorney and former city solicitor says he's confident of a win.

"I've reached out to the Indian community, to the Hispanic/Latino community, to the African American community," Mulligan said. "This is not about partisan politics. This is about getting the job done once and for all."

Mulligan didn't run in the primary. He was selected as the Republican candidate after Garrett Lewis dropped out.

His challenger is current city tax collector and former councilman Bill Courtright.

Courtright says the most important thing is getting a handle on the city's finances.

"I don't think we actually know 100-percent where we're at," Courtright said. "As I've mentioned in the past at one time, there was $3 million found in a bank account that the city didn't know they had, there was $1 million misplaced in an account so I think we need to get our hands around the finances first, see where we are so we can see where we're going."

Both men say a solution to the city's deficit and pension crisis won't come overnight. They both say small steps are needed.

"We have a comprehensive plan with a comprehensive real estate program which raises revenue without raising taxes, eliminates blight and fosters economic development," Mulligan said.

If elected, Bill Courtright says he will form a committee of professionals to tackle the city's money troubles.

He criticized Mr. Mulligan, who has been touting his education and experience on the campaign trail.

"He's worked for the mayor for many, many years," Courtright said. "If he had all these plans and answers, he's worked for the city for several yeras. He could have brought them forward for many years but he's said nothing."

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