Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott issued a statement, in response a letter from Republican mayoral candidate John Persinger.

Persinger is asking the mayor to consider applying for the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2017 Mayor's Challenge.

Cities of 30,000 residents or more have a chance to apply for up to $5 Million dollars in grant money, to fund innovative ideas to tackle their urban problems.

The registration deadline is in August, and the current mayor must apply, for the city to be eligible.

Mayor Sinnott's statement reads, "The city has always and continues to pursue the grant opportunities that are best suited to the projects and programs we are engaged in in this community. Those are the ones we have the best opportunity of receiving. We do not now, and will not in the future respond to campaign rhetoric by political candidates."

Persinger tells Erie News Now he sent the mayor a letter, e-mail and called, but never received a personal response.