After Alderperson Svante Myrick’s ’09 (D – 4th Ward) victory in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Mayor of Ithaca, his general election opponents said Wednesday they remained confident in their ability to take on Myrick in November.
To win the mayoral election, Myrick must defeat candidates Janis Kelly ’71 (R), chair of the city’s Republican committee, and independents Wade Wykstra, chairperson of the Board of Public Works, and Christopher Kusznir, a local business owner. Additionally, Alderperson J.R. Clairborne (D – 2nd Ward), who lost to Myrick, told The Sun Tuesday night that he would compete in the general election on the Independence party line.
While all of the candidates said that they were not surprised to see Myrick win the Democratic primary, all foresaw his success ending there.
Kelly struck first, issuing a press release Wednesday that said Myrick’s election represents an “epic fail for the Democratic Party machine in the City of Ithaca.”
According to Kelly, Myrick’s win is just “the tip of the iceberg,” showing how strongly Ithaca voters desire a change in leadership.
In an interview Wednesday, she added that she considers Myrick’s victory “an impressive rejection of the machine project represented by Pam Mackesey [’89].”
“Svante’s problem in the November general election is not going to be that he is a very young man,” Kelly said. “His problem is going to be that he is a very young man with a basketload of very old, out of date ideas.”
Kelly said that given Myrick’s campaign platform, she remained confident in her chance to become the city’s next mayor.
“I think this is the best chance in 30 years that we will elect a Republican candidate for mayor,” Kelly said.
While Wykstra praised Myrick’s campaign for the “tremendous amount of motivation and human power” behind it, he admitted that going up against Myrick has “always been intimidating.”
“It will continue to be [intimidating],” Wykstra said. “I don’t have the dominant political party behind me, but I will undoubtedly go forward because I think I had a good chance at this.”
Wykstra added that in the 24 hours following Myrick’s victory he had picked up an immense amount of support.
“I’m getting endorsements from a lot of people we haven’t heard from yet because I wasn’t in the primary,” Wykstra said. “Who these people are is not public information yet, but it will be soon.”
Kusznir — who considers himself the “underdog” in the race — said that he believes he has the necessary management skills that Myrick lacks.
“I don’t have the funds raised or the size of the camp, but I have a history of managing budgets and coming from a position of small revenue to developing three businesses,” Kusznir said.
Original Author: Liz Camuti