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Regional News

Will Mayor Sarno Debate? 'I'm Concentrating On Running The City'

With less than a month before the election, a debate between Springfield, Massachusetts, Mayor Domenic Sarno and challenger Yolanda Cancel appears unlikely.

In the last election, in 2015, Sarno said he was too busy and that debates weren't part of his campaign strategy. The mayor was asked this week about if he would debate this time around.

"I'm concentrating on running the city, day-to-day aspects on it, as I should be, to the residents, community and taxpayers," Sarno said. "And also, I have a very demanding schedule, and I'm also, and I think it's been public, too, I'm dealing with a family health situation."

His opponent, Yolanda Cancel, said voters need to have a debate in order to make their decision. She said the debate situation has her frustrated.

"It's been hard in a city that our mayor doesn't really support voter or civic engagement, voter turnout," Cancel said. "So, it kind of keeps our city feeling like it's just regular day and not an election year."

Sarno likely doesn't need a debate to get his message out. The mayor has a huge fundraising advantage ⁠—roughly $140,000 to Cancel's $713. That's according to the latest campaign finance data filed with the state.

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