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Coverage from WRVO Public Media on the 2015 election including: races in Syracuse and other parts of central New York, the Southern Tier, Watertown and the North Country, and more.Listen to WRVO online, or catch up on regional political news and more by following the WRVO news department on Twitter.

Eight candidates compete for four seats on Syracuse school board

Tom Magnarelli
A billboard for Green Party candidates for Syracuse School Board, Raymond Blackwell and Caleb Duncan.

Eight candidates are running for four positions on the Syracuse school board. This comes after an impressive showing by Democrats in the primary.

Tim Carroll, the Syracuse city Democratic chairman, said the race for the board of education started in January when 14 Democratic candidates declared they were running for four positions.  

“I think we all are looking for better," Carroll said. "Better graduation rates, better performance in the schools. There’s a lot of issues affecting teachers, coming from the state level. We had a primary in September and four candidates won.”

Those candidates are Dan Romeo, Rita Paniagua, Katie Sojewicz and Mark Muhammad who was appointed by Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner to the school board earlier this year.

Carroll said school board representation is a key component of the elections this year.

"We did receive some news, unofficially, that the graduation rates going up, but people think that there is a lot more work that needs to be done in the schools," Carroll said. "Strong schools mean strong neighborhoods."

No Republicans are running. Two Green Party candidates Raymond Blackwell and Caleb Duncan are on the ballet as are Working Families candidates Maxwell Ruckdeschel and Latoya Allen.

Ruckdeschul is running for re-election and made news last year when he said he no longer supports Superintendent Sharon Contreras’ administrative appointments. The election is on Tuesday, November 3.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.