Mayoral candidates talk crime, growth, roads

By Jillian Marshall

September 5, 2013 Updated Sep 5, 2013 at 6:26 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Three men will square off Tuesday for the first Binghamton Republican mayoral primary in years. While they all share similar goals for the city's future, each has a different plan on getting there.

Douglas Drazen, Edward Hickey and Richard David are vying for the GOP spot. The winner will face off against Democrat Councilwoman Teri Rennia on Nov. 5.

The three Republicans say they'll focus on how knocking down crime, returning Binghamton to its heyday and keeping young adults and families in the area. But they all have different plans on how to accomplish those goals.

This is the third time Douglas Drazen has run for Binghamton mayor, but his first run as a Republican.

Drazen says he has an unique perspective that would benefit the city and its residents.

"Having the status of an outsider, yet having insider-quality knowledge, which will allow me to get to work right away," Drazen said.

Drazen says he wants to make Binghamton the safest and cleanest city in upstate New York. The result, he says, will create jobs and a more permanent population.

The 25-year lawyer wants to cut down on crime by focusing on low-level, nuisances and criminal activity, which he said could suppress more serious crimes.

Plus, he says the roads need to be in better shape.

"Look at the condition of the streets. Obviously, the way things are done and have been done for quite some time isn't working," Drazen said.

David said he agrees; in fact, improved road maintenance is a pillar in his campaign.

"I don't think there's a Republican or democratic way to construct our streets or fix our potholes, I think we need someone to come in there and just manage the city," David said.

David, a former deputy mayor, says his six years of experience sets him apart from the other Republican candidates.

He believes cleaning up the streets and crime will create an atmosphere for new business and bringing families and jobs into the city.

"I think we need to lock down crime ridden properties, we need to focus on high crime areas," David said. "We need to put foot patrols downtown. We need more neighborhood patrols."

"I think when kids start to have fun, they stop getting in trouble and when they stop getting in trouble, they stop doing things when they get older," said candidate Edward Hickey.

Hickey, an Endicott native, says challenges growing up have inspired him to help make the youth of the area better.

Hickey wants to improve parks and recreation across the city, saying kids' free time directly correlates to crime.

He admits he's not a politician. That's why he says he's perfect for the job.

Hickey says a broader focus on arts and entertainment would grow the local culture, and encourage more people to settle in the city.

Primary polls open at noon on Tuesday, Sept.10.

For more information about your polling place or questions about the primary, visit the Broome County Board of Elections here.

Click here for more information on Doug Drazen and his campaign.

For more on Richard David's campaign and goals for the city, click here.

A look at Ed Hickey and his plans for Binghamton, can be found here.