ITHACA, N.Y. — Alderperson Robert Cantelmo remains the only candidate in the race for the Ithaca Mayor’s office. With April 6th being the last day to gather the necessary signatures to  appear on the ballot, it appears that the four year mayoral seat will have an uncontested Democratic primary.

Tompkins County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Stephen Dewitt said that in his two decades working for the BOE, he has not seen an uncontested Democratic primary for Ithaca mayor’s office when there isn’t an incumbent in the race. Dewitt said as of Friday that no one else has approached his office with interest in running for Mayor. 

Cantlemo told The Ithaca Voice that being the sole candidate in the Democratic primary “doesn’t make much of a difference to the way that I’m approaching the campaign.”

Cantelmo reiterated a number of the top issues he’s campaigning on, such as pushing forward Ithaca’s encumbered public safety reforms, and the Ithaca Green New Deal, as well as restoring morale of the city’s workforce. Going forward, he said that he will be holding campaign events to facilitate community conversations, and engaging with Ithaca residents to learn their priorities for the city. 

“An opponent is only one dimension of that community conversation,” Cantelmo said. 

Yet debates are among the strongest means for the public to build an assessment of a candidate. No rumors have gained traction about a clear contender stepping forward from among Ithaca’s political activists or former and current officials. 

Cantelmo has begun to rack up high profile endorsements from colleagues on Common Council, like Alderperson George McGonigal and Ducson Nguyen, and he hinted that there are more to come. 

Cantelmo may see an opponent emerge as an independent in the November election. The first day independents are able to start gathering signatures is April 18, and the last day they have to file nominating petitions is May 30. But only time will tell.

Jimmy Jordan is Senior Reporter for The Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact him at Connect with him on Twitter @jmmy_jrdn