Elections

In-depth coverage of elections and campaigns.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo got involved in the rhetoric of the GOP presidential debate, appearing on three morning TV news shows to defend New York against disparaging remarks made by candidate Ted Cruz in Thursday night's debate.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The race for the Democratic nomination in the 24th Congressional District is ramping up. The three hopefuls met voters at a forum in Manlius last night, as they look for party support.

A mostly older crowd that packed a room at the Manlius Library applauded when party officials noted there will be a choice for Democrats when it comes to deciding who should face freshman GOP Rep. John Katko in November. 

And while the trio agreed on decidedly Democratic issues like income inequality, they offered differences in style and background.

Broome County teacher declares candidacy for Hanna seat

Jan 5, 2016
Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

Republican George Phillips of Broome County announced Monday he will run to replace retiring Rep. Richard Hanna in Congress. 

Phillips is a history teacher at Seton Catholic High School in Binghamton. He lost a tight race for Congress against longtime Democratic Rep. Maurice Hinchey in 2010, before district lines were redrawn.

Speaking to reporters at Rec Park in Binghamton, Phillips said he plans to focus on the economy in his campaign.

Paladino urges New York Republicans to back Trump

Jan 1, 2016
Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

While the New York Primary is just under four months away, former gubernatorial candidate and western New York businessman Carl Paladino is encouraging Republicans to back Donald Trump's presidential bid now.

Paladino expressed his support for Trump's campaign in an open letter to the state's Republicans, and urges party leadership not to be neutral, especially with state Democratic party leaders already backing Hillary Clinton.

In Paladino's opinion, GOP leadership in New York state is too establishment-minded. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) says he’s retiring at the end of his term so he can be closer to his family. He says the decision has nothing to do with the political rancor he’s experienced in Washington as a representative of what is now the 22nd Congressional District.  But he says he would like to see politicians become a little better at working together.

Hanna, a moderate Republican, says he’s been criticized by some in his party for his stands on certain social issues. And he says that’s all right.

Local elections were held around the country last Tuesday, and while the Syracuse region did not contain the drama of the Kentucky governor’s race or the Houston equal rights ordinance, there were nonetheless some local results of note, and some tea leaves embedded in the details of expected outcomes.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher mines those with two local political reporters, Teri Weaver of the Syracuse Post-Standard and Ellen Abbot of WRVO Public Media. 

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

 

Republicans and Democrats in the New York state Senate both have victories to point to in last night’s election results.  

Following a landslide win, former Broome County Sheriff’s Deputy Fred Akshar became one of the two newest members of the State Senate.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

Voters in Watertown have selected Joe Butler Jr. as the city's next mayor. Tuesday's vote ends Jeff Graham's 20 year tenure as Watertown’s mayor.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego has elected its youngest mayor in city history. The 25-year-old Republican Billy Barlow captured 54 percent of the vote, solidly defeating his Democratic challenger Amy Tresidder by 12 points.

Barlow's youth became a focus point early on in the race. Tresidder, a grandmother with six years of experience on the Oswego County Legislature, stressed that Oswego needs maturity and experienced leadership. In one campaign advertisement, she noted that Barlow doesn't pay property tax or utility bills because he lives with his parents.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A new face will be representing part of Onondaga County in the New York State Assembly in January. Syracuse Common Councilor Pam Hunter easily won a special election in the 128th District.

Hunter took the race with almost 54 percent of the vote against two challengers, Republican John Sharon and David Stott, who ran on the Conservative Party line. It was more than the combined amount of votes Sharon and Stott received.

Syracuse Common Council gains a Republican

Nov 4, 2015
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council is gaining something new because of Tuesday night's election results -- a Republican. 

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News File Photo

There’s only one political race Tuesday that directly effects New York state government, and that’s a special election for a state Senate seat in the Southern Tier. The Republican candidate is far ahead.

The Senate seat in Binghamton and surrounding areas is vacant, because its former occupant Tom Libous, who was the deputy Senate majority leader, has been convicted on felony charges of lying to the FBI over obtaining a politically connected job for his son. He is now awaiting sentencing.

WRVO News file photo/TobyShelley.com

On Election Day, voters will make decisions about various levels of Onondaga County government . The entire legislature is up for election, and there are several countywide races. District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick is running unopposed, but there are contested races for comptroller and county clerk. But the biggest office up for grabs is for Onondaga County executive. 

The race pits a well-heeled incumbent going against an opponent who lost support from his party’s leadership.

Elect Kristyna Mills D.A. Facebook ; Elect Anthony Neddo D.A.; Facebook

The candidates for district attorney in Jefferson County agree that heroin is the biggest issue facing law enforcement in the area today. The choice voters make on Tuesday may hinge on which candidate voters believe can put a dent in the heroin epidemic.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

On November 3, Watertown voters will choose the city’s next mayor. Incumbent Jeff Graham is competing against two-term councilmen Joe Butler for the chance to lead Watertown into the next four years. Long-standing mayor Jeff Graham could be ousted out of a position he’s held for 20 years. As the candidates push to convince voters they’re the right kind of leader, mud is flying.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

This isn't your typical mayoral election.

Oswego's incumbent Mayor Tom Gillen, who was elected as a Democrat in 2011, didn't receive his party's endorsement this time around. So, he's running as a write-in candidate. Oswego County Legislator Amy Tresidder is running on the Democrat line. If Tresidder wins, she would be the first female mayor in Oswego history. The Republican candidate, Common Councilman Billy Barlow, would be the city's youngest executive ever at age 25 if he wins in November.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

There’s about three weeks to go before Watertown voters will decide who will be the city’s next mayor.  City Councilman Joe Butler, Jr. is challenging incumbent Mayor Jeffrey Graham for Watertown’s top job. Both candidates have a lot to lose in this race. If Graham isn’t re-elected, his 20-year tenure as the city’s mayor will be over. If Butler is defeated, he’ll lose his city council seat.

The two candidates hashed out where they stand on the city’s most pressing issues Wednesday afternoon in the race’s only debate.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A recent poll shows the Republican candidate ahead in the all-important race for state Senate in the Binghamton area. Republicans across the state are keeping a close watch on a special election that could tip the scales of power in Albany.

The Time Warner Cable News/Sienna College poll shows 59 -percent of voters polled are ready to support Republican Fred Akshar, with only 31 percent prepared to vote for Democrat Barbara Fiala. That’s good news for Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco of Syracuse.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse University professor Eric Kingson announced he will be seeking the Democratic nomination for Congress in the Syracuse-area's 24th District in 2016.

Kingson is pushing a progressive agenda leading with an expansion of Social Security. A small but vocal crowd of younger and older people came out to Kingson’s campaign launch in Syracuse and those two demographics are exactly who Kingson said he wants to connect with.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

City councilman Joe Butler and incumbent Jeff Graham earned the most votes in Watertown’s mayoral primary. Both candidates will go on to compete to be Watertown's next mayor in the November general election. 

At the end of Thursday, results showed Butler with a total of 903 votes, inching ahead of incumbent Graham by just one vote in the non-partisan race. Graham says this means the upcoming general election for mayor will be exciting.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Common Councilor Pam Hunter, the Democratic nominee for state Assembly in the 128th district, will be running against Republican John Sharon in November.

This is Sharon’s fourth time running for the seat and he said the problems in his district are not getting any better. This time around, Sharon said he is going to push his infrastructure and jobs agenda more aggressively in public and with the media.

MemphisCVB / Flickr

128th Assembly District --

Syracuse Common Councilor Pamela Hunter is the winner of the Democrat primary for the open 128th Assembly seat in Onondaga County. Hunter won more votes than fellow Common Councilor Jean Kessner and former Onondaga County Legislator David Stott to represent the Democrats in the general election in November.

kristen_a / Flickr

There will be a new representative in the 128th Assembly District in central New York next year. And that lawmaker could be determined in Thursday's primary election.

The 128th has been gerrymandered into a far-flung district that serves Syracuse's inner city, the university area, the Onondaga Nation, farm country in southern Onondaga County, as well as suburban Dewitt, Mattydale and Liverpool. It’s been reliably represented by Democrats for years, most recently by Assemblyman Sam Roberts, who left for a job in the Cuomo administration.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Democratic candidates for Onondaga County Legislature are calling for tougher financial disclosures among elected officials and more accountability to the public. Among the four candidates proposing changes are Kevin Tees, running in the 14th District based in Clay, and Tim Rudd, running for the 15th District in Syracuse.

All four have listed five items they believe the county government can do differently.

kristen_a / Flickr

Primary voting day for New York will be held on a Thursday this year instead of the traditional Tuesday. 

This change is important for the city of Watertown. Voters are expected to choose which mayoral candidates will move onto the general election that day. Watertown city officials hope the date switch won’t keep people from the polls.

With two of the Tuesdays in September falling during the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur,  Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved changing the primary voting day to Thursday, September 10. 

It doesn’t seem like central New York Republicans have settled in on any of the candidates looking for the GOP presidential nomination, at least so far. And last week’s Republican debate may have winnowed the field for some local political junkies, but only by a bit.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News File Photo

New York’s political world is focused on a race in the Southern Tier that could help determine the future of the state Senate.

The Deputy Majority Leader of the State Senate, Tom Libous, was convicted of lying to the FBI over obtaining a politically connected job for his son, and had to resign his seat in late July. The Binghamton based Senate district has held by Republicans for the past 100 years, and has included former Senate Leader Warren Anderson.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

 

The Green Party in Syracuse is running five candidates for office this year, on what they describe as a a progressive anti-poverty platform. The party says they want to give voters a choice that's different from the current Democratic-controlled common council.

 

Edward Lockhart served almost six years in prison for selling cocaine and he's been struggling to find a job ever since he's been out.

 

Matt Ryan / New York Now

The state’s lieutenant governor, in an interview with New York State Public Radio and TV,  says she’s not harboring ambitions to be the state’s first woman governor.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul says she doesn’t know when the state’s proverbial glass ceiling will be broken, and New York will have a woman in charge of the chief executive post,  but she says it’s unlikely that it will be her who reaches that milestone.

“I don’t harbor higher ambitions,” Hochul said.

A day after Aaron Woolf announced he would not run for the North Country's 21st Congressional seat again, another Democrat stepped up to say he will. Mike Derrick is a Clinton County, New York native.

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