County Exec Candidates React to Endorsement - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

County Exec Candidates React to Endorsement

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County Executive Barry Grossman wasn't expecting Mayor Joe Sinnott to take sides in the county executive's race. But he's come out in support of re-electing Grossman.

Grossman told us he first learned about it in a phone call from the mayor late last week, but it came out in print in the Sunday Erie Times.  "He said look, I've decided to do it, I'm behind you, we've worked well together and we want to keep working well together and I'm endorsing you whole heartedly."

The decision came as a surprise and a disappointment to challenger Kathy Dahlkemper. "I think it's disappointing that the mayor has gone back on his word to stay neutral in this race.  I talked to him as recently as four or five days ago he didn't indicate any change," said Dahlkemper.  The former congresswoman told us gaining endorsements, especially from other elected officials has never really been a big part of her campaign strategy.  Campaigning door to door is.  "I'm not really worried," said Dahlkemper, "the real endorsement comes from the people at the voting box."

Sinnott's decision to endorse may be a reaction to Dahlkemper's campaign theme, that our area is lacking leadership. A theme sounded in a Dahlkemper campaign ad just released.  The television commercial appears to place blame for the pending loss of GE jobs at the door step of elected officials, especially Grossman.

Grossman told us he has not seen the commercial yet, but heard about it.  "I really wish I had that power," said Grossman.  "I really wish I could dictate to GE when and how and what they do.   I've repeatedly said to GE Transportation CEO Lorenzo Simonelli - are there things government should be doing that would impact your commitment to this community - and he said you'll be the first to know."

According to Grossman, Mayor Sinnott said he chose the incumbent, because he didn't detect from Kathy Dahlkemper why she was running, or how she'd take the county in a different direction. Sinnott told Grossman if she had, he would have listened.

Dahlkemper hopes their differences are clear when they meet face to face to debate.  WICU12 and The Erie Reader Downtown Debate Series are partnering to bring that debate to voters.  It will take place Monday May 13 at the Jefferson Educational Society.  WICU12 will broadcast the hour long debate live at 7:00 PM.  

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