The Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce and The Sentinel sponsored a debate involving each of the three mayoral candidates on Tuesday night at MVCC.

Mike Galime (Republican), Celeste Friend (Democrat) and Bob Cardillo (Conservative) faced off against each other in front of a live and live-streamed audience, answering questions about crime, economic development, immigrants, homelessness, and other important issues that the next Mayor of Oneida County's largest city will be faced with starting in 2024.

One of the controversial topics that Utica has faced over the last year is the migrant population in New York City, that the NYC Mayor and the Governor want to be housed in Upstate NY cities, including cities like Utica. Currently, Buffalo and Albany have joined with New York City to house migrants in New York, however, County Executive Anthony Picente issued an order that prevents migrants from being moved into the county. Questions were issued to each of the candidates regarding the migrants and the possibility of allowing Utica to become a Sanctuary City. Each of the three candidates said that Utica should not be a Sanctuary City and currently can not handle the migrant population.

The debate ran about 90 minutes and was streamed live over YouTube. Watch the entire debate below, courtesy of MVCC Live.

2023 Utica Mayoral Debate

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th, from 6am until 9 pm. Early voting runs from Saturday, October 28th through Sunday, November 5th.


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