Now that Election Day 2013 is history, political types begin looking to next year's races. Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei is already campaigning, although not necessarily with his own race in mind.
As he watched winners parade up to the podium at Onondaga County Democratic Party headquarters on election night, Maffei says he was thinking less about an expected race for reelection next year, and more about last year, when he upended an incumbent tea party Republican to retake a seat he had initially won in 2008.
Absentee ballots still need to be counted, but Democrats appear to clawed back a seat on the Onondaga County Legislature. Republicans, though, are playing up the fact that they will maintain a 'super majority' in the body.
Syracuse and Onondaga County's local political landscape remains pretty much intact after yesterday's election. Republicans rule the suburbs and County government; while democrats maintain a stranglehold over Syracuse city hall. Mayor Stephanie Miner won re-election easily with 68 percent of the vote against two third-party challengers, and got a surprise congratulations call from Washington.
Watertown's City Council contest pitted two fiscally conservative incumbents against two political newcomers who want city government to think more broadly about its role. The voters went for one of each.
Small business owner Teresa Macaluso led the pack by a comfortable margin to keep her seat for a second four-year term. She says good budget management will always be her top priority. "Without a budget, a balanced budget, we don't get any of the services that we want, things fall behind, and then before you know it, you're in trouble," she said.
Syracuse Republicans are just a few dozen votes shy of winning back a city office as a race for Common Council will come down to absentee ballots, but the rest of city hall remained solidly Democratic after Tuesday's election.
The two new faces we know of for sure on the Common Council are Chad Ryan in the Second District and Pamela Hunter in an at-large spot. Ryan won Pat Hogan’s old seat, who was term-limited, by beating Republican Alex Walsh with 59 percent of the unofficial vote.
Two of the six amendments on Tuesday’s ballot deal with land swaps in New York’s Adirondack Park. One of the proposals has split environmental groups.
Proposition 4 would clear up some land disputes for property owners on Raquette Lake, in Hamilton County. It would allow the state to give clear titles to around 200 homes along the lake. In exchange, the landowners would contribute to a fund to buy alternative land for the Adirondack forest preserve. There is no organized opposition to that land swap.
Credit License Some rights reserved by Håkan Dahlström / Creative Commons License
There are six amendments on Tuesday’s ballot, ranging from whether New York should allow seven resort-style gambling casinos, to whether judges should be allowed to serve on the bench until the age of 80. Here’s a rundown:
Proposition 1 has received the most attention. It would amend the state’s constitution to change the prohibition on gambling casinos, allowing up to seven resort style gambling centers to be built. A coalition of business and labor groups has been mailing brochures out to voters, and running ads.
The comptroller race in the city of Utica has taken an odd turn. At an event last week, the city's Democrat Mayor Robert Palmieri endorsed Independence Party candidate William Morehouse, rather than fellow Democrat Jim Zecca.
In a written statement, Palmieri explained that he believes says the city needs to elect people who “believe in working together and have the city of Utica's best interest at heart.”
Zecca says even though he doesn't have the support of most of Utica's elected Democrats, it hasn’t derailed his campaign.
On Tuesday when you go to vote, you’ll find two issues on your ballot that deal with New York’s Adirondack Park.
Both involve small land swaps that have been in the works for years. But because they impact the park’s forest preserve, which is protected by the state constitution, they require a vote of the people to move forward. Although one of the land swaps enjoys wide support, the other has sparked controversy and a fierce debate among environmentalists.
Watertown's City Council hopefuls got one final chance before tomorrow's election to make their case at a meet-the-candidates event last week. The four opponents advocate different roles for city government.
The race pits two incumbents who see a limited role for city government against a pair of political newcomers with broader visions for what the council can do to improve residents' lives.
The Green Party candidate running for mayor of Syracuse says the that office needs more tools to deal with a homicide crisis in the city. Kevin Bott says if he is elected, he would fully embrace the concept of community policing to get at the root of this year's rash of killings across the city.
If voters on Tuesday pass the proposed amendment to the state constitution to allow casino gambling, New York will become the 21st state to have commercial, Las Vegas-style casinos. Across much of the country nowadays, gambling seems like the natural state of things. But it wasn’t always that way.
If you’re a person of a certain age -- say about 50 -- you’ll remember when going to the casino meant a trip all the way to Las Vegas. It seems almost quaint now, but just a generation ago casinos were outlawed in 49 of 50 states. Only Nevada allowed legalized gambling.