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Pittsfield Voters Have Four Choices In Mayoral Preliminary Election

Jim Levulis
From left to right: City Clerk Linda Tyer, Donna Walto, Mayor Dan Bianchi and Craig Gaetani take part in a mayoral forum.

Voters in Pittsfield, Massachusetts Tuesday will decide which two mayoral candidates they want to send to November’s general election.

City Clerk Linda Tyer, Donna Walto and Craig Gaetani are challenging two-term incumbent Mayor Dan Bianchi. Bianchi is facing the three challengers after breezing to an uncontested reelection in 2013. With crime and poverty a major issue in the race, Bianchi points to a new innovation center and high school as a path forward.

“I have to be concerned to make sure that we are putting together a framework of initiatives and growth for our community that includes economic and cultural development,” said Bianchi.

After two deadly shootings this summer, Tyer has made public safety a main talking point.

“Keeping you and your family safe is my top priority,” Tyer said. “I will hire more police officers to patrol our streets.”

Walto, who runs a sightseeing company, says she has the business savvy to spur economic development.

“Because the way I see the city now we’re just going down farther in the depths of poverty,” said Walto.

Gaetani, who has been very critical of city government, is facing charges for threatening to shoot a city employee – a claim that he denies.

“In my administration whatever the taxpayer would want they’re going to get and what they don’t want they’re not going to get,” said Gaetani.

The winner of November’s race will serve Pittsfield’s first four-year term. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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