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May wins 53rd Senate district, Antonacci ahead in 50th

Ellen Abbott
Republican Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci won the race for New York's 50th State Senate district.

While the Democrats took control of the state senate, central New York’s 50th State Senate seat will most likely be staying in Republican hands. Bob Antonacci has about a 3,000 vote lead over Democrat John Mannion in the race for the seat left vacant by longtime State Sen. John DeFransisco, who is retiring. But Mannion has yet to concede as he waits for absentee ballots to be counted. 

Antonocci admits it would have been easier to be a freshman lawmaker had his party retained control of the Senate.

"The bottom line is I’m going to work hard, I’m going to talk to anybody who wants to talk about moving good policy to move New York state forward,” Antonacci said. “I’ll work with Democrats in New York City.”

Antonacci praised his opponent, but criticized the $3 million spent on the campaign - much of it from outside interests.

“It’s clear the system is broken, but I don’t know what the alternative is,” He said. “I think we can make some reform. I’m a huge fan of term limits, I think that would take some of the pressure off.”

The 50th district, which was an open seat, was the target of a large amount of spending because it was seen as a potential pick up for Democrats trying to win control of the State Senate. They were able to do that anyway, winning at least 35 of 63 seats, and putting the party in complete control of state government.

Mannion focused on that larger party victory in his speech.

Credit Payne Horning / WRVO News
Democratic candidate John Mannion.

“Kids, we wanted a Senate in New York state that’s blue and we got one,” Mannion said to cheers. “There is going to be a lot of good, meaningful legislation that’s going to get through the New York State Senate. It’s going to help many people – people who don’t have a voice.”

Mannion congratulated his fellow Democratic candidate Rachel May, who is certain to become part of that new Democratic majority after she won her race to become the next senator in New York’s 53rd Senate district.

“We have the opportunity to be part of important changes that will be good for central New York,” May said. “We can reform our election laws, fix the way we fund education, finally get serious about climate change and poverty, and build the infrastructure we need to thrive.”

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.
Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.