For the first time in a century, there won't be a candidate on the Republican line in the race for Syracuse mayor this November. The GOP held off as long as it could to try to find a candidate, before calling off the the search.
"We gave it a yeoman's effort to try and find a candidate," Onondaga County Republican Party Chair Tom Dadey said. "That's why we went to the extraordinary lengths we went to, to preserve our ballot line for as long as we could, in hopes that that candidate would come forward, who's never come forward."
When the GOP couldn't find a candidate this spring to run for mayor against well-funded incumbent Stephanie Miner, Dadey started using a number of ballot maneuvers to keep the GOP line open. The party even hinted at endorsing Democrat Common Councilor Pat Hogan, who lost to Miner in the Democratic primary race last week. Hogan, in a statement released Monday, said he decided not to consider taking up the GOP mantle, calling himself a life-long Democrat. So, with only a little more than six weeks before Election Day, Dadey threw in the towel.
"It's unfortunate that we don't have a Republican candidate," Dadey said. "But like I said, politics is a lot like baseball. There'll always be another season in politics."
So what's next for the GOP in a city that has a 3-to-1 Democratic enrollment edge, and a lack of a citywide office holder? To use another baseball analogy, Dadey said they would beef up the bench.
"We're going to focus our efforts on races we can win and hopefully we can elect those folks, so we have a bench coming down the road for future elections," Dadey said.
He says a better use of the party's resources would be to focus on city races for Common Council and School Board, with an eye towards developing city candidates.
Miner will have opponents on Election Day. Conservative Ian Hunter and Green Party candidate Kevin Bott will be on the November ballot.