7:53am

Fri July 12, 2013
Politics and Government

Eyes on Democratic primary in Syracuse mayoral race

The focus in the race for mayor in the city of Syracuse at this point is on a September 10 primary. Three candidates have turned in petition signatures this week to get on the ballot in September. Onondaga County Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says history shows whoever wins that race, will be victorious in November.

"A lot of time, city-wide candidacies are left vacant on the GOP side, and I think we are even starting to see even the district councilors a lot of times are left vacant or with token opposition.  Thus, Democrats are starting to look at the primary as the election to win as opposed to the general election."

One downside of this, admits Czarny, is that turnout for primaries tends to be lower than general election. Fewer than a quarter of registered democrats voted in the 2009 mayoral primary.

"You can never quite tell when you come to an election in an office as important as mayor of the city, however the trend would suggest that the winner of the Democratic primary as we saw in 2001 with Mayor Matt Driscoll and in 2009 with Mayor Stephanie Miner, will be the mayor of Syracuse," he said.

If signatures hold, incumbent Mayor Miner will face Common Councilor Pat Hogan and grassroots candidate Alfonso Davis in the primary. There is no Republican candidate on the ballot at this point. County GOP Elections Commissioner Tom Dadey is getting signatures to hold the ballot open if a Republican candidate comes forward.

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