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Democrats Drumm, Ryan head to primary election for CNY State Senate seat

Democrats Tom Drumm, left, and Chris Ryan are running for NYS Senate District 50.
Tom Drumm and Chris Ryan
Democrats Tom Drumm, left, and Chris Ryan are running for NYS Senate District 50.

Early voting for state and federal primary races begins June 15. Two Democrats are vying for the nomination in the State Senate’s 50th district seat.

The seat is vacant with current Senator John Mannion running for central New York's congressional seat. Democrats Tom Drumm and Chris Ryan both believe they have what it takes to keep the 50th Senate District seat blue and will go up against each other for the Democratic nomination in this month’s primary election.

For Drumm, a former Oswego County legislator and union organizer, reforms for Child Protective Services and funding for education are at the top of his list.

“Taking a look at what we can do to combat child abuse and malnutrition as a whole in both Onondaga and Oswego counties, we see some of the most concentrated levels of childhood poverty and childhood abuse in the country that exist in both of our counties,” Drumm said. “And so something needs to be done and we've proposed some pretty concrete steps to address the issue.”

He also said there needs to be greater transparency in economic development statewide as well as reforms to pilot agreements and employment.

Current Onondaga County Legislator, Ryan said health care, economic development and childcare are his top three focuses. He said with all the development the district is anticipating, a hard focus on workforce needs to be taken.

“But we also have challenges for our workforce and our labor force and kind of what we've done in Onondaga County with pathways to apprenticeships and trying to stimulate jobs and job growth,” Ryan said. “A lot of that those resources are going to be needed on a state level, not just for obviously Oswego County and Onondaga County. We're going to need some help attracting labor and getting resources here to train our labor force.”

Drumm said it’s his youth that sets him apart.

“Our guiding light was that we need new people to step up. We need a newer generation of leaders to step up. And so that message has been probably the most well-received message that we've delivered on the campaign. I think people are hungry for newer, newer people to step up, younger people to step up for office.”

For Ryan, it’s about experience.

“I've had the great fortune of being able to represent Onondaga County on the county legislature and have held elected office for 20 years,” Ryan said. “I think we have a certain amount of experience and I think experience matters.”

The winner of this primary election will face Republican Nick Paro in the fall.

Early voting runs from June 15-23 and election day is June 25.

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.