SCRANTON — Election Day is less than one week away and when voters in Scranton hit the polls on November 5, they will elect a new mayor for the first time in more than a decade.
Current Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty will leave this office in January, and there will be a new administration at City Hall for the first time in 12 years. The November 5 general election will make history, but voter turnout for the primary election in May was at a historic low.
“It was very low, lowest I had ever seen it. I hope that’s different in the general election. I hope that everyone comes out and votes.”
Scranton’s outgoing tax collector Bill Courtright was the Democratic victor in the May primary. He says he was disappointed by the low voter turnout and has spent the past few months ramping up support.
Courtright says Scranton’s future depends on its new mayor and city council getting along. So he says he’s been in constant contact with incoming members of council. He thinks that and his past experience on City Council will win him the election next week.
“I’m surprised that voters paid close attention that I ran for office in May and my opponent didn’t, he was appointed by the Republican party. I didn’t think people would pay this close attention but they do, and I’m talking to people about that as they bring it up to me,” Courtright said.
He’s referring to Republican challenger Jim Mulligan who was appointed in August after the original Republican candidate dropped out of the race. we caught up with him campaigning in Scranton’s hill section.
“People are concerned about taxes, they’re concerned about other issues that are confronting the city, paving and potholes. So, we’ve put together a comprehensive plan to confront some of those issues,” Mulligan said.
Mulligan says if he’s elected, he plans to sell off the city’s assets and tax-delinquent properties to raise revenue. He says his plan has gotten good responses from taxpayers, but it all depends on whether they get out to vote.
“This campaign, this election is too important for people not to come out to vote. So, we’re encouraged by what we’re hearing,” Mulligan said.
The race between Mulligan and Courtright may be the biggest bringing Scranton voters out on November 5. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.