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Meet Robert

Robert Cantelmo is the democratic nominee for mayor of the City of Ithaca.

Robert is a husband, father, scholar, and public servant with a strong commitment to building an inclusive, affordable, sustainable, and dynamic Ithaca. He is running to develop a robust strategy and clear vision for local government at a time of significant change. Robert wants to address our housing crisis by promoting attainable home ownership and affordable rents through legalizing a diverse range of housing types to include duplexes, triplexes, townhomes, and small-scale multi-unit buildings. He believes transportation is inherently tied to housing and advocates for enhanced transit infrastructure and investment in micro-mobility. He supports investment in our workforce and local industry to draw talent, investment, and innovation to our community.

Before running for mayor, Robert served as a City of Ithaca councilmember for the fifth ward (Fall Creek and Cornell Heights). In that role, he chairs the city administration committee, which oversees the budget, public finance, workforce environment, intergovernmental relations, rules, and human resources. During his tenure, he led efforts to make Ithaca the second city in New York to require employers to disclose compensation levels in job ads. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s disastrous reversal of Roe v. Wade, Robert also drafted a city amendment guaranteeing the protection of reproductive rights. Outside of public service, Robert works as an associate director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, where he oversees strategy, business development, grant compliance.

Robert earned his B.A in political science from American University, an M.A. in international affairs at George Washington University, and an M.A. in government at Cornell University. He is a Ph.D. candidate (ABD) in government at Cornell University.

Robert and his wife Catherine live in Ithaca with their two young kids.

What Robert Stands For

From public safety to fair pay, Robert is committed to addressing the issues facing Ithaca residents because he knows how important it is to ensure that our community is able to thrive and move forward.

Robert on the issues >>>


Elected Officials

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Governor Kathy Hochul

State Senator Lea Webb

Assemblymember Anna Kelles

County Legislature Chair Shawna Black

County Legislature Vice Chair Dan Klein

County Legislator Travis Brooks

County Legislator Veronica Pillar

County Legislator Anne Koreman

County Legislator Deborah Dawson

County Legislator Greg Mezey

Acting Mayor & Councilmember Ducson Nguyen

Alternate Acting Mayor & Councilmember Rob Gearhart

Councilmember George McGonigal

Councilmember Cynthia Brock

Councilmember Phoebe Brown

Councilmember Donna Fleming

Councilmember Jorge DeFendini

Councilmember Tiffany Kumar

Councilmember Kris Haines-Sharp

Notable Community Endorsements

Democratic Congressional Candidate Josh Riley

City of Ithaca Democratic Party Chair Ed Swayze

Former County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson

Former Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick

Former Ithaca Councilmember Seph Murtagh

Former Ithaca Councilmember Michael Decatur

Organizations and Unions

NY Working Families Party

AFL-CIO Midstate Central Labor Council

Union of Auto Workers

Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Cornell University College Democrats