2016 election

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

With less than three weeks before Election Day, Hillary Clinton is even further ahead of Donald Trump in New York state, and that could affect downballot races, including seats for the state Senate.

Clinton is 24 points ahead of Trump, at 54 percent to 30 percent, a jump from when Siena College did a survey in September. Spokesman Steve Greenberg said the biggest change is independents moving over to the Democratic presidential candidate’s camp. A two-point lead among independents for Clinton has grown to a 17-point lead.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Two candidates are running against one another in the 116th Assembly District that runs along the St. Lawrence River in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties. Republican candidate John Byrne, a former town councilman from Cape Vincent, is challenging incumbent Democrat Addie Russell for the second time. Both exchanged heated words during the race’s first debate last night. It was hosted by WWNY-TV in Watertown. 

WRVO News File Photo

WRVO will air the first debate between Republican John Katko and Democrat Colleen Deacon on Thursday, October 20 at 6 p.m. Grant Reeher, host of “The Campbell Conversations," will be moderating the hour-long debate.

Additional broadcasts occur over the weekend, on Saturday, October 22 at 6 a.m. and Sunday October 23 at 6 p.m. Audio and a full transcript will be available online (on "The Campbell Conversations" page) Thursday, October 20 at 6 p.m.

At some point everyone, regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof, wants to bail from a presidential election. Okay, that's a hunch, but it's borne out, at least in part (caveats aplenty), in an online survey by the American Psychological Association.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A group of students at SUNY Oswego has spent the semester registering their peers to vote ahead of New York's registration deadline today. But the registration drive is only part of a larger campaign classroom experience.

New York State Senate

Democrats in New York are trying to keep the heat on Republicans running for office over the coarse remarks made by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump in a leaked video.

Every day since Friday’s release of the tape — where Donald Trump disparages women in a crude manner — Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has slammed Trump. And he’s urged New York Republicans to disassociate themselves from the top of their ticket.

“They should stand up and say, ‘I’m a Republican, but I’m a New Yorker first,’” Cuomo said. “‘And we’ll have nothing to do with the degradation of women.’”

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is keeping the heat on New York Republicans to disown Donald Trump after the GOP presidential candidate’s coarse remarks about women revealed in a video over the weekend.

Cuomo said he does not think Trump turned around his troubled candidacy in Sunday night’s debate performance and, for the third day in arrow, called on New York Republicans to reject their party’s presidential nominee.

“They should stand up and say ‘I’m a Republican, but I’m a New Yorker first,’” Cuomo said. “‘And we’ll have nothing to do with the degradation of women.'”

WRVO News File Photo

New York State is touting online voter registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles this year, noting that more people then ever used the online system last month. However, with the deadline to register just days away, local Board of Election officials suggest potential voters be wary of it, and to make sure they get registered pick up or download a registration form and mail it in.

Onondaga County Republican Elections Commissioner Helen Kiggens has been skittish about the DMV system since last spring’s presidential primary.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is one of many Democrats condemning Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his newly-released statements in 2005, where he spoke of women in vulgar terms, and described actions that many view as sexual assault.

“This was a disrespectful, sexist, derogatory statement about all women, and it should be condemned,” Cuomo said, speaking after a briefing on an accident on the Long Island Railroad Sunday.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

At a forum in Syracuse Thursday, members of the disabled community were able to explain to local, state and federal candidates the issues that mean the most to them during this election season.

Issues that impact people with disabilities run the gamut -- from access to housing, to the disabled sub-minimum wage, to making sure hearing impaired immigrants have support in their native language.

WRVO News File Photo

In each of the last three congressional elections in the Syracuse area, incumbents have been big losers. But that trend could change this year if results of the first independent poll for the 24th Congressional District race hold steady.

The 24th Congressional District seems to be a district that defies convention. According to Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg, voters tilt slightly to the left of center on the issues. There are more registered Democrats than Republicans, and district voters are solidly behind Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

High school students in the Syracuse City School District participated in a mock election for president, Senate and House of Representatives using official ballots and voting machines from the Onondaga County Board of Elections. 

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

Jobs were a major topic at a candidate forum at SUNY Broome for the 22nd Congressional District Thursday. But climate change came up as well, and there were definite differences in how the three candidates talked about it. 

Democrat Kim Myers advocated for government incentives to develop new technologies.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County Republicans are hoping to put the divisiveness of a primary in the 127th Assembly District race behind them.

When all the ballots were counted, only 40 votes separated winner Vince Giordano, and Michael Becallo in the Republican primary for the seat that’s currently held by Democrat Assemblyman Al Stirpe. Becallo’s name will still be on the ballot on the Conservative and Reform Party lines. But he’s asking his supporters to ignore that.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Libertarian Party is trying to make a name this political season, which has disaffected some voters from the major political parties. Alex Merced believes a Libertarian option gives him an edge in a race against incumbent Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).

Merced jumped in the race against Schumer in what he calls a “weird political year.” And he points to the ease of getting signatures to get on the ballot as a sign that this year will work to his advantage.

CSIS/Matt A.J. / Flickr via CC License 2.0 http://bit.ly/1ZNeCAw

A new poll shows that Hillary Clinton is still far ahead of Donald Trump among New York voters — but she has some weak points.

Clinton holds a 21-point lead over Trump among likely New York voters in the Siena College poll, down from a 25-point lead one month ago.

But Clinton has some weaknesses. She is viewed unfavorably by just over half of voters and does not have much support beyond registered Democrats, said Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

With a little less than two months before election day, Onondaga County’s Republican Party is hoping to move forward with a united front. A potential challenger to Chair Tom Dadey’s leadership was brought into the fold after a weekend of intense discussions.

New York State Senate

The results of a four-way primary for a New York Senate seat may help Republicans keep control of that house in the long run.

Marisol Alcantara won Tuesday’s primary for the Upper Manhattan seat held by Adriano Espaillat, who is running for Congress. Alcantara is a Democrat, but she has said if elected to the Senate in November, she will likely ally with the breakaway Democratic faction known as the Independent Democratic Conference.


In the Republican primary for the 54th District state Senate race, Canandaigua Town Supervisor Pam Helming  appeared to be the victor, leading the four other candidates.

Although absentee ballots still need to be counted, Helming was ahead of her closest rival, businessman Floyd Rayburn, by 190 votes.

Longtime state Sen. Mike Nozzolio currently has the position, but is not running for re-election.  However, Helming realizes there is a legacy there.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

On a state primary day, and during a hotly contested presidential campaign, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday issued a somewhat nonpartisan message to New Yorkers: Vote — or don’t complain about the results.

Cuomo did not address the latest controversies surrounding Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, nor did he advocate for more Democrats in the state Senate, as some Democrats have urged him to do.

For the first time in more than 20 years, the state senate seat in New York's 54th district is open. A crowded field of mostly Republican candidates are vying to replace longtime Republican State Sen. Mike Nozzolio, who's retiring. The district encompasses all or portions of Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, Cayuga, Tompkins and Monroe counties. 

The town of Canandaigua's supervisor Pam Helming is considered the GOP favorite. She won endorsements from all six of the county Republican parties. Helming said her top priority in Albany would be to roll back regulations. 

Mike Becallo campaign/Vince Giordano

New York state holds primary elections for state Assembly and Senate races. In central New York, an Assembly seat on the eastern side of Onondaga County is in the spotlight for the GOP.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Local Democratic officials helped open a new Hillary Clinton election office in Syracuse on Saturday. Clinton recently called on every Republican in office to say if they agree with recent Donald Trump comments. Trump said U.S. generals have been reduced to rubble under President Barack Obama and Trump praised Russian President Vladimir Putin. Colleen Deacon, a Democrat running against Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in the 24th Congressional District, called on Katko to voice his opinion.

Deacon says she does not agree with the idea that Katko is a moderate Republican.

NY State Assembly

A well-known state assemblyman from the Rochester area has died in an apparent suicide. A police officer saw Bill Nojay shoot himself near his family’s cemetery plot about 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Nojay, a 59-year-old radio talk show host, had served in the Assembly since 2013. The conservative Republican was facing a primary challenge in next Tuesday’s primary for re-election to a third term. His Democratic opponent has suspended campaigning for now.

Assembly Republican Leader Brian Kolb expressed sadness and shock.


Republicans fared better than Democrats in pro-business group Unshackle Upstate’s rankings of state legislators who are seeking re-election in November.

Unshackle Upstate’s Greg Biryla said overall, GOP lawmakers did better than Democrats when ranked on issues that business groups care about, such as holding the line on taxes and spending.

He said Assembly Republicans, the smallest conference, scored highest.

“They had numerous members who received 100, overall,” Biryla said. “They were the only conference to achieve that.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

New York state’s Republican Party chairman is talking up Donald Trump and predicted that the GOP presidential candidate will do well in New York state.

Ed Cox said Trump has been looking presidential lately, appearing in Mexico alongside that country’s president, and visiting flood-ravaged Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Cox said Trump’s strength is that he’s a “self-made politician.”

“And a genius of a politician, you have to admit,” Cox said.

Democrats in Tompkins County will have a chance to hear from candidates for the nomination for district attorney tonight.

Tompkins County has to elect a new DA on a rushed schedule. That’s because Gwen Wilkinson resigned last month for health reasons. Her departure came so late that various party committees -- not primary voters -- will choose the nominees for the general election.

New York State Senate

There’s more evidence that the presidential race may affect which party will control the state Senate.

Currently, the GOP is holding on, with the help of one Democrat who meets with them.

But a new Siena College poll finds that nearly two-thirds of voters think that Donald Trump at the top of the ticket will not help Republicans hold on to the Senate, and Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate will actually help Democrats regain the Senate, said Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) visited New York Air Brake in Watertown Friday on a campaign stop. She spoke about how the Import-Export bank helps U.S. manufacturers compete internationally. Stefanik helped reform the bank.

“When American workers are able to compete on a level playing field there is no other country that is manufacturing the highest quality of products that the U.S. is,” said Stefanik.  

After her brief speech, the question and answer period turned to the presidential campaign.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) added his voice to a chorus of criticism regarding Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comments to the Muslim parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq.

“We ought to revere our Gold Star mothers,” Schumer said. “We ought to praise them. We are to not be criticizing them. My heart goes out to these people who made the ultimate sacrifice and criticism of them is very, very wrong.”