October 31, 2011

Kusznir Drops From Mayoral Race, Endorses Democratic Candidate

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With only a week until the general election, Chris Kusznir, an independent candidate for City of Ithaca Mayor, dropped out of the race to become Ithaca’s next mayor on Monday. He endorsed Democratic candidate Svante Myrick ’09.

At a press conference Monday, Kusznir cited the “responsibilities, demands and priorities” associated with being a new father, and said he believes continuing his campaign would be contrary to the best interests of the city. His daughter, Madison, was born last month.

“I entered this race out of a heartfelt concern for our community and out of a heartfelt concern for what the future holds for ourcity,” Kusznir said. “To continue this campaign with the knowledge that I will not have the capacity to devote the time and energy our city deserves in its mayor would be the epitome of selfishness.”

In his endorsement, Kusznir praised Myrick for his work ethic and the consistency of political agenda that he has maintained throughout his campaign.

“I truly hope that those of you who supported my campaign and believe in my vision for our city will follow my lead and support Svante Myrick for mayor,” Kusznir said. “He has the energy, vision and focus that our city needs.”

While jointly noting that they disagree on a number of issues, Kusznir and Myrick said they share substantial priorities — including a focus on economic growth — that will serve the community well moving forward.

“We’ve talked over our agendas and know very well where we stand, and we know that we don’t agree on everything,” Myrick said. “But, we do believe that we need smart, focused, progressive growth to expand our tax base. We believe we need to reform our current management structure [and] that we can use technology to make our government more transparent and more accountable.”

Kusznir also said he thought Myrick would bring necessary change to the City of Ithaca — a promise he said did not hold true for Independent Candidate Wade Wykstra.

“While I respect Mr. Wykstra … the fact is that beyond [the issue of the waste water treatment plant], he hasn’t demonstrated an ounce of the creativity or the entrepreneurship our city needs to move forward,” Kusznir said.

Wykstra, however, said he believes that “he is the growth candidate,” in an interview Monday.

“I am the candidate who favors expanding wealth in the city of Ithaca, and no one else has talked about that,” Wykstra said.

Original Author: Liz Camuti