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Nicoletti drops out of Syracuse mayoral race, endorses Perez Williams

Tom Magnarelli
Joe Nicoletti with Juanita Perez Williams.

Syracuse Councilor Joe Nicoletti is endorsing Juanita Perez Williams for mayor of Syracuse, after she defeated him in the Democratic primary last week. 

Nicoletti previously said he would stay in the race on the Working Families ballot line if he lost the Democratic Primary, but in a show of what he called "party unity," Nicoletti bowed out. He was emotional reflecting on several decades of past public service in the city. But he also made it clear how the Democratic Party should move forward. 

“I’m here to say that I am suspending our campaign," Nicoletti said. "We should have party unity. We should support the ticket from top down. We should be supporting our candidate for mayor.”

Nicoletti was the Democratic Party's designated candidate.

"I would hope that those that believe in my message, those that believe in a better Syracuse, would come on board," Nicoletti said.

He said he will finish out his term on the common council. Perez Williams thanked Nicoletti for his endorsement.

"I need you to help me get over the finish line, and to keep this party together, to keep this city together, and to keep us all on the same page," Perez Williams said. 

She also received the endorsement of the Working Families Party. She used the opportunity to go after one of her opponents in the general election, independent candidate Ben Walsh.

“We’re not prepared for a leader who is already talking about putting this city on the market," Perez Williams said. "You see it through his contributions; you see it through many of the statements that he’s made. We need to stand up for someone who is about the people, and not about themselves.”

Perez Williams is trailing behind Walsh in fundraising. Republican Laura Lavine and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins are also running for mayor.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.