SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — One of the most talked-about and hotly contested races is for Scranton mayor.
The person who gets the most votes in Tuesday’s special election will respectfully fill appointed Mayor Wayne Evans’ seat. This race all started back in July when former Mayor Bill Courtright pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges. Fast forward four months. Seven candidates are out and about vying for the mayor seat inside City Hall.
All seven candidates for Scranton mayor hit the polls to vote for themselves and other candidates outside the race. We caught up with five of the candidates doing that and stumping last time on the campaign trail before polls close at 8 p.m.
“It’s up to the voters today. No idea what will happen tonight. Anything could happen but I feel like we have left it all on the field and I am incredibly proud of the campaign we have built,” candidate Paige Cognetti said.
“They’re being very very nice to me, you know. They’re saying thank you for running and putting your name in the hat and so on and so forth. It’s not easy and they want change and I think I am the best change there is out there,” candidate Giovanni Piccolino said.
Councilman Kyle Donahue launched his campaign at the end of July. Donahue, Cognetti and John Goshleski were the three candidates who switched parties from Democrat to Independent after the Lackawanna County Democratic Committee nominated Chris Cullen for mayor.
“It’s been a sprint. But you know, we’ve walked all across this city and you know, the response has been great, you know, but people are starting to lose hope so we have to restore hope,” Donahue said.
Republican Charlie Spano was nominated by the county’s party back in August. Spano is a retired school teacher looking to fill Mayor Wayne Evans’ seat.
“The voters in this city are disgusted with the corruption and the pall that has cast over the city and they are ready and eager for change,” Spano said.
“Regardless if I win or lose, I think I’ve helped the city of Scranton come to grips with some of its issues and at least set a precedent that you can run for mayor for the city of Scranton without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Cullen said.
The candidate who wins will take office in January and complete former Mayor Courtright’s term. That ends in 2021.