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Matthew Ricchiazzi Bows Out of Mayoral Race

Independent Party hopeful in the Buffalo race for mayor Matthew Ricchiazzi has issued a statement, referring to his quest for the mayor’s seat in the past tense and making promises for the future.

The primary will be held one week from today with two Democrats, incumbent Mayor Byron Brown and challenger Councilman Mickey Kearns, on the ballot.  There will be a televised debate on Channel 2, WGRZ TV this coming Friday, and speculation is that next Tuesday’s primary will likely point to the winner of the November election if no other candidates make the final ballot.  Ricchiazzi’s letter is as follows:

and fellow Buffalonians,

Today, I’ve
been informed that the Board of Elections plans to reject my independent
nominating petition for Mayor on Wednesday morning.  On Friday, the New
York State Supreme Court will make a final determination.  I want to take
this opportunity to thank everyone who volunteered their time, effort, and
energy into this campaign.  I am immeasurably grateful and will forever
remember the passion, pride, and pureness of intention with which you’ve
engaged this ambitious effort.

Those of
you who helped knock on doors, collect signatures, distribute fliers, and
spread the word as widely as we could, know that this campaign had nothing to
do with me.  This campaign was about a generation of young people who are
absolutely irate that our incompetent political leadership has squandered our
future here.  This campaign was a rejection of the smallness of our
ambition and the pettiness that has plagued our politics for far too long. 
It was about people who refused to believe that our decline is inevitable, and
who understand that we need leaders who know where we’re going and how to get
us there.  It was a campaign full of people who don’t have the heart to
watch the City that we love die because of managerial incompetence and a
leadership deficit; people who didn’t have the stomach to sit on the sidelines
and to let that happen.

But more
than anything, this campaign was about a belief in Buffalo–a belief that you
and I share: a confidence in our potential, an unwavering understanding that
our best days are still ahead of us, and that one day we’ll have rebuilt this
City better than it’s ever been before.

It has
been my distinct pleasure to have engaged with you all in a conversation on how
we can rebuild this extraordinary City that we all love.  One door at a
time, my belief in Buffalo has been reinforced, strengthened, and invigorated. 
You’ve shared with me your ideas, insights, and energy.  Your openness–and
your willingness to be aspirational–has been a wonderful personal experience
for which I cannot thank you enough.

But our
efforts to change Buffalo cannot–and will not–end here.  Our City still
needs–and desperately deserves–a robust public discourse on how we go about
reversing a 50 year population decline, decades of hemorrhaging job losses,
rising rates of violent crime, a persistently underperforming school system,
and an endemic housing crisis.  We’re going to continue this effort in
three ways.

the solutions for these extraordinary problems must stem from us all. 
That is why, over the next several months, I’ll be revamping,
into a Wikipedia of sorts for urban policy.  Together, we’ll continue our
conversation in an effort to come to broad consensus on the strategies that we
must pursue in order for Buffalo to see a brighter day.  In the process of
reimagining our City, we’ll refine The Agenda to Change Buffalo, and put forth
a robust plan for progress and prosperity.

The Agenda to Change Buffalo, which was the independent body making my
nomination for Mayor, will continue to exist and will evolve into a
full-fledged political party committed to an assault on the status quo. 
Within the month, I’ll begin approaching local community and civic leaders who
are equally as unsatisfied with the status quo as I am, and who find mediocrity
simply unacceptable.  I’ll ask those leaders to serve on a non-partisan “Executive
Committee” who will identify Buffalo’s emerging out-of-the-box leaders and
thinkers who are of the quality and caliber that we need to run for local
office.  I’ll do everything that I can to help them get elected.

Third, I
intend to establish a firm that will specialize in providing consulting
services to municipal governments, helping them to build more vibrant, more prosperous,
more sustainable, more beautiful, more equitable communities.  I’ll begin
approaching venture capitalists with a concrete business plan before the end of
the year.

Let’s be
honest–a 23 year old, openly bisexual, half-Indian, registered Republican
running for Mayor of Buffalo was a long shot.  But you’ve made me believe
that it’s just within our grasp.  Truly, we have here a City of
extraordinary neighbors, and I hope that our paths cross in the future many
times.  Until then, don’t inhale stale air of orthodoxy.

truly–and gratefully–yours,





Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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