|Mazzeo Picks Up Support From Eliminated Mayoral Candidates|
|By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff |
05:59PM / Wednesday, September 18, 2019
|Scott Graves and Karen Kalinowsky, center, who came in behind Melissa Mazzeo, right, and Linda Tyer in Tuesday's preliminary election, are throwing their support to Mazzeo. |
Melissa Mazzeo thanks the two eliminated candidates for their support.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The two mayoral candidates eliminated in Tuesday's preliminary election have thrown their support to Melissa Mazzeo.
Karen Kalinowsky and Scott Graves stood beside the top vote-getter on Tuesday to say she best represented the platforms they'd run on. The endorsement took place on the steps of City Hall, just outside the office of Mayor Linda Tyer, who is seeking a second four-year term.
"She has my beliefs," said Graves, owner of the Rusty Anchor whose candidacy pointed to what he says are hurdles to local business. "I want to take care of crime and help strengthen the city and make it grow ... hopefully, also really focus on business and getting more businesses here and existing ones to expand."
Kalinowsky, a retired police officer, said she knew from the beginning that she and Mazzeo shared the same concerns when it came to the schools, accountability of the administration, the streets and crime.
Mazzeo, who is completing 10 years as a councilor at large, agreed that the three had found commonalities in perspectives on city issues early on and that was evident at the first debate between the four candidates.
"I turned to her after she answered one of the questions. And I said, 'I say what she says,' because we were so on par with what we're looking for," Mazzeo said. "And I think their frustration is what drove them to run. This was a big deal to come out and run for mayor, to put yourself out there as they both have done. And they've done an amazing job."
After a recent candidate mixer, the three mayoral hopefuls talked about their shared visions. Mazzeo said she told both that should they make it to the ballot for November, they would have her support.
"We all sort of just talked back and forth. And I said, I would love to sit down and keep them so involved in what's going on in this campaign because I respect all of their decisions and all of their comments and their ideas," she said.
Mazzeo had sent a media alert about a "special announcement" on Tuesday night not along after she was unofficially declared the top vote-getter in the four-way race by 289 votes. She and Tyer will face off in November in the general election.
The councilor is running on making the city safer, its streets and parking better, its schools more productive and its small businesses not burdened by "outdated laws and regulations."
She tells the story of a veteran she met while knocking on doors who said he was afraid to walk in his own neighborhood and feared he would struggle to pay the taxes and fees to stay in his home.
"Here's where being a mayor is different from being a city councilor," Mazzeo said. "As your mayor, I will take action to make certain that every time your tax dollars are being spent, they're being spent thoughtfully and wisely. And not just because that's the way we've always done it."
Although she gave a short address on her campaign, Mazzeo said the standout was to acknowledge Graves and Kalinowsky as part of her team.
"I'm so honored that they both chose to put their support behind our Mazzeo platform, which is very similar to the Graves platform and it's very similar to the Kalinowsky platform," she said.