JOHNSTOWN - Local leather businessman Larry Razzano announced this week he is seeking the Republican nomination for city mayor.
"I am honest, up front, true to my word," he stated. "As you all know, I call a spade a spade. I would like to lead this city to a new motto: 'Let's Go to the Basics.'"
The 66-year-old Razzano - a political newcomer and lifelong Johnstown resident - is in a three-way GOP primary for mayor. Current Republican Mayor Sarah Slingerland is not running for a third-consecutive. four-year term.
Also seeking the Republican nomination for mayor in the Sept. 10 primary are 3rd Ward Councilwoman Helen Martin and city Water Board member Scott Jeffers. The winner will face Democrat Michael Julius, a retired pharmacist, in the Nov. 5 general election. Martin also is on the Conservative ballot in November.
Razzano owns Razzano Leather at 30 S. Melcher St. He said he has been in the trucking and leather business for more than 42 years but is now "semi-retired."
"I know a lot about the city," the businessman said.
Razzano said he will be very accessible to the public at City Hall as mayor.
Razzano said he first thought to run for mayor about four years ago. He said his business knowledge, contacts, and past experience with previous and current officials in Johnstown make him an especially good candidate for mayor. He also noted the city is moving toward possibly cleaning up the old Karg Bros. tannery site off North Perry Street, to make it developable. He said it is something he has "had in mind" for many years and will certainly assist with as the new mayor.
"My thing is to clean up that project," Razzano said.
As mayor, he said he hopes to foster a culture in the city that utilizes "common sense" approaches to government and an environment where there are "people working with people." Razzano said he hopes to run a smooth city government in which people are given a chance to improve "that great city of Johnstown."
"Being a lifelong Johnstownian, I know most of the people here in Johnstown and they know me," Razzano said. "I am well known to everyone here in the community. I was in the trucking business for 19 years and in the leather business for 23 years."
Because he already knows the city officials - as well as state Sen. Hugh T. Farley, R-Niskayuna, and state Assemblyman Marc W. Butler, R-Newport - he said will get things done.
"I know I can work with these people," Razzano said.
Razzano and his wife, Laura, live at 318 N. Perry St. The couple has four grown children.
The Johnstown High School graduate has served on many civic organizations over the years. He played for the Glove Cities Colonials for 11 years and has been a 44-year member of the Johnstown Eagles Club. With the Eagles, he was a six-year treasurer, 28-year trustee and served 18 years as head of the bell-jar program, with a more than $1 million handle for the state Racing and Wagering Board.
Razzano has been inducted into three "hall of fames" - New York state Eagles, Fulton County Bowlers, and Glove Cities Colonials.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.