SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– Seven candidates vying for the office of mayor in Scranton take the stage Tuesday night to debate the issues.
The field of candidates for the special mayoral race is a diverse collection– from local business owners to a retired teacher, a lawyer, property managers and beyond.
The Lackawanna League of Women voters hosted in the Moskowitz Theater at the University of Scranton. They all want to re-establish trust in the executive branch of Scranton’s government as they made their case for why they should be elected.
“While I’m not from Scranton, when I knock on doors I talk to people who are scared of being taxed out of their homes–who are working three jobs but still can’t make ends meet,” said independent candidate Paige Cognetti, a former public school official and executive adviser. “I think back to my roots and my family that is still struggling out west.”
“The non-profits have to pay their part, helping out the senior citizens and getting rid of the mercantile tax,” said independent candidate and local business owner, Giovanni Piccolino.
“I think we just need someone who has integrity, who is honest, who is an ordinary person, an average person who just wants to help and cares about people,” added independent candidate and local tattoo artist, Josh Goshleski.
Some candidates noted their experiences will allow them to be effective on Day One.
“Cut spending, cut taxes, fairness and transparency,” said independent candidate and local entrepreneur Gary St. Fleur. “My background is in accounting; therefore, looking at a budget, finding efficiencies and making sure things are fair and balanced is my day-to-day.”
“I’m the only candidate in this race that could hit the ground running on Day One,” said independent candidate and current Scranton city councilman Kyle Donahue. “I’m aware of the issues. I know what problems we face and I know how to fix those problems.”
Others have their party’s nominations and hope this debate gives them a chance to show they’ve earned it.
“My commitment to the city in both employment as a teacher and as a voluntary member of many government boards,” said the Republican nominated candidate Charlie Spano. “As well as my goal of ending corruption as we know it, right now, in Scranton.”
“I’ve argued cases in every courtroom in this commonwealth, of all levels–appellate as well as trial courts,” said Democratic nominated candidate Chris Cullen. “I’m very confident that my skills of communication will help our city and move it forward.”