UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - It's an annual tradition that goes back more than 80 years here in Utica, the annual Political Breakfast held every year the Sunday morning before election day in November.
This year, a smaller than normal crowd listed to the candidates in two local races, the race for Utica City Comptroller and New Hartford Town Supervisor.
Current New Hartford Town Supervisor Republican Patrick Tyksinski told the crowd this is a perfect venue for their questions, "If there are any questions, please feel free at anytime to raise your hand and bring it up."
And they did.
And that is exactly what Rabbi Ronald Kopelman of Temple Beth El loves about this forum, "Here you see them as human beings, they're not just a picture in a newspaper, but you can relate to them more."
Tyksinski's opponent, current New Hartford Town Board member Democrat Richard Woodland says he will be continuing his message here today and take it to the streets of New Hartford as much as he can before Tuesday, "I'm still going to go door to door right to the end of the campaign, still want to meet as many of the voters as possible."
In the Utica Comptroller's race, Utica Councilman At Large Democrat Jim Zecca is facing current Utica Common Council President Bill Morehouse who Zecca defeated in the Democratic primary in September.
Morehouse is running on the Independence Party line.
Both told the crowd their thoughts on the role of a comptroller and said they too will be attending as many of these forums in the next two days and going door to door to get their message out.
Zecca enjoys this breakfast in particular, "As far as forums and debates go, this is the granddaddy, the grand finale. I always enjoy this. And each group has their own interests, certain issues that they want to address and it's a good opportunity to do that, you know "
Morehosue says forums like these are unfortunately few and far between, "They're important formats you know, they really are, and they're fading a little bit, they really are, I hate to think people are losing interest in government, but I think it stems from what happens in Washington and right now, people are losing interest."
But maybe the most notable quote of the day was from Congressman Richard Hanna of Barneveld, who told the crowd he has accomplished a lot in his time in office and wants to continue it after this term, "I'm ready to win or lose, I am going to run again."
So expect to see Hanna back here at Temple Beth El next year, as a candidate.