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Onondaga County Democrats endorse Deacon to run against Katko

Payne Horning
WRVO News File Photo
Eric Kingson, left, Colleen Deacon, center, and Steve Williams, right, at meeting of the Cayuga, Oswego and Wayne County Democratic Committees in Auburn last week. Deacon was endorsed by the Onondaga County Democratic Committee Thursday

It took two ballots but the Onondaga County Democratic Committee finally settled on Colleen Deacon, as their designated candidate in the race for the 24th Congressional District. But despite the county party nod, there will still be a primary to see who will face incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus).

Former Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand staffer Colleen Deacon won 53 percent of the committee vote on a second ballot, after almost tying Syracuse attorney Steve Williams in the first ballot. She says she’s happy to have the party apparatus behind her.

"It shows people want to support me, they like my campaign, they like my candidacy, they like what I stand for. And it’s proof that I’ll be successful in this race; having boots on the ground, having those around to make phone calls and knock on doors," said Deacon.

Regardless of the designation, there will be a primary. Williams intends to get started passing petitions in order to run in the June 28 race, and says the close party vote gives him confidence.

"That tells me that I’ve got momentum, and things are happening, and that makes me happy and that encourages me," said Williams.

Also in the mix is Syracuse University professor Eric Kingson, who’s said all along, he would take his campaign to a primary. He believes his campaign will tap into the popularity of Bernie Sanders.

"This is not a year where endorsements by senators, endorsements by mayors are going to count the way it would in the past. It’s not a year where someone flying up from Washington D.C. from the Democratic campaign committee like Steve Israel flew up for Steve Williams. That’s business as usual. I’m not business as usual,” said Kingson.

The 24th District also includes Cayuga, Wayne and part of Oswego County.  Democrats from those counties decided on a joint endorsement of Deacon and Williams after three ballots determined no clear winner.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.