SCHENECTADY Longtime Schenectady politician Peter Guidarelli put an end to weeks of speculation this morning by saying he won’t seek the Republican line for mayor in this fall’s election.
Instead, Guidarelli said, he may seek the GOP line in a run for the Schenectady County Legislature in November. He said he's "seriously considering" it.
Guidarelli, 43, cited time constraints as his main consideration. The city mayor’s job is full time while county legislators are part time.
A resident of Schenectady’s Northside, Guidarelli said he currently has several business ventures that would prevent him from putting in the time required of a mayor.
He owns Roman Villa Restaurant in Rotterdam and he’s a consultant for several companies and agencies in the region, including Warren-Washington ARC. He’ll be running a capital campaign for ARC this year.
“It would not be fair to my commitment there to enter the mayor’s race, as well as other professional commitments I have,” Guidarelli said this morning.
Guidarelli said he arrived at his decision after numerous meetings and discussions with associates over the weekend.
Guidarelli was a leading contender for the Republican nomination in the mayoral race. His candidacy would have made for a three-way race that also would have included Alliance Party founder Roger Hull, the former president of Union College.
Both men had expected to face off against Mayor Brian U. Stratton, a Democrat.
But last week Stratton said he will leave office next month to take a job in state government.
Democrats are urging City Council President Gary McCarthy, also a Democrat, to run for mayor. But McCarthy said he would first evaluate his level of support.
As for the GOP nomination, Guidarelli’s decision means that Hull could now pull in the party’s backing, Guidarelli said.
“At this point, I can’t speak for the Republican Party, but I know the Republicans are seeking candidates,” he said. “Supporting Roger is an option, an absolute option.”
Guidarelli would be a knowledgeable and experienced candidate for the county Legislature. He served on the board from 1996 to 2003. Before that, he served on the Schenectady City Council in 1994 and 1995.