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Political breakfast in Manlius: Sunny side up

Non-partisan event brings more than 20 politicians together

State, regional and local political candidates stepped up to the podium last week in Manlius.

The Greater Manlius Chamber of Commerce held a political breakfast Aug.18 to give residents a chance to meet those they may be pulling the lever for come November elections.

About 154 people attended the event, including gubernatorial candidates Carl Paladino (R), Warren Redlich (L) and Howie Hawkins (G); U.S. Senate candidates Gary Berntsen (R), Martin Chicon (R) and Jay Townsend (R), as well as candidates for U.S. Congress, comptroller, attorney general, state senate, state assembly and Onondaga County sheriff.

Voters had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with candidates before and after the candidates gave a brief speech.

Those who couldn't attend were gubernatorial candidates Andrew Cuomo (D) and Rick Lazio (R), Kristen Gillibrand (D) for U.S. senator and Congressman Dan Maffei (D).

Sen. Charles Schumer and attorney general candidate Kathleen Rice were the only two who did not respond to the invitation at all, said chamber president Marc Baum.

"I was amazed at the number of state and national candidates who thought it was important enough to schedule a stop in Manlius," Baum said. "We had Democrat and Republican, Green Party and Libertarian candidates, and I think everyone appreciated the inclusiveness of the event."

East Syracuse Mayor Danny Liedka (R) said he thought the event was well attended with small business owners, chamber members and political organizations.

"People had a chance to listen to both sides of the aisle," said Liedka, whose own message addressed his proven record in fiscal conservation creation and development creation.

If he wins the Sept. 14 Primary Election against Andrew Russo, Liedka will face incumbent State Sen. David Valesky (D) in the November polls.

"Our chamber mission this year was to be a 'clearinghouse' for local information," Baum said. "And I believe having over 20 candidates in one place for the voters certainly rose to that calling."

Baum said the chamber looks forward to hosting another political breakfast next year.

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