ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The two main political parties have their candidates for the next Mayor of Elmira. Democratic challenger Jim Hassell will face off against republican incumbent Dan Mandell, who is running for a third term.
Hassell is a retired educator who taught Spanish and French at Elmira College. Hassell ran unsuccessfully last year for Chemung County Legislator representing the 1st District. He is now turning his focus to Elmira’s Mayoral race. Hassell announced his candidacy Wednesday in front of Mayor Dan Mandell, during a meeting of downtown business leaders that was held at WMC North.
“I have to tell you that I am a candidate for Mayor. Not because I have anything particular to say about the current Mayor, it’s just that I think I have a lot to contribute to the city,” Hassell said. “Downtown should be a focal point for Elmira. It should be a destination and not a drive-through, which is what it is. I am all about downtown revitalization. It’s probably my strong point.”
Mayor Mandell said before discussing the issues, he would like to confirm if Hassell is actually living in the city he wants to lead.
“Well, first of all, he doesn’t live in the city of Elmira. He lives in the Town of Veteran,” said Mandell. “He ran in the first district last year. So, I’d like to know what address he’s using to run on here in the city of tomorrow. So that’s my first question. I’m not familiar with a gentleman at all. I know he’s originally from Arkansas. But other than that, he brings up some things that we’re already working on, and we’re moving forward here in the city of Elmira.”
“Do you currently live in Elmira?” 18 News reporter Nicolas Dubina asked Hassell.
“That’s correct. I live on West Third Street. I’ve lived there since 2003, with a short intermittence in Horseheads,” Hassell replied.
“Have you lived before in the Town of Veteran?” Dubina asked.
“I have” Hassell said.
The Chemung County Board of Elections says a candidate needs to be a resident of the city at the time of election, which is November 7th.
When asked about his thoughts on Mayor Mandell, Hassell said it’s time to transfer power to someone else. “I don’t really have anything negative to say about him as such. I am in favor of term limits. He has had two terms. I think he’s had his time.”
Monday is the deadline for any other candidates to join the race. As of Thursday evening, the Board of Elections says nobody else is running so far.
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