Pasta and politics combine at Troy spaghetti dinner

Pasta and politics combine at Troy event

Pasta and politics combine at Troy event

For candidates in Rensselaer County, the annual spaghetti dinner in Troy is a must-stop. 

This year, the dinner at the Italian Community Center is bigger than ever, because the races are local.

“We did about 1310 meatballs to get ready,” said organizer Sam Chiappone.  “Usually we do around a thousand, but we thought we would do a little bit more this year because of the expected crowd.”  

The local races include sheriff, and Troy mayor.

The mayoral race features City Council President Carmella Mantello, the Republican candidate, and Democratic Rensselaer County Legislator Nina Nichols.

Mantello was born and raised in Troy, and has been council president for eight years.

“I know every corner of this city, they want to see their streets clean, they want to be safer with crime-ridden hot spots, North Center, the Burgh has changed.  I’m a Burgh girl,” said Mantello.  “We need to spread this momentum from downtown into our neighborhoods and that’s what my campaign is all about.” 

Nichols is a nonprofit leader, former city council member, and current county legislator.

“I want people to know that I am committed to investing in every neighborhood, protecting our families, expanding economic growth while preserving our character, and expanding pipelines to good jobs so with the Nichols administration people will see a safer, cleaner, greener city for everyone who lives here, learns here, works here, and comes to enjoy Troy,” said Nichols.
The spaghetti dinner tradition goes back more than 60 years to St. Mary’s.  It’s always a big meal that gives people a chance to meet candidates in an informal setting.

“I hope they’re going to get some friendship, talk to some neighbors, talk to some of the candidates and maybe make some last minute decisions on who they’re going to vote for,” said Chiappone. 

Both candidates said the most important thing is for people to get out and vote Tuesday.