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Local Democrats express optimism on the heels of Election Day

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News File Photo

Onondaga County Democrats are expressing optimism for the future of their party.

Assemblywoman Pam Hunter (D-Syracuse), who is heading back to Albany to represent the 128th district, said the results of this year’s election show Democrats can win big outside of New York City. Local Democrats are celebrating wins from state Senate and Assembly seats to Onondaga County Sheriff.

"If you were on the ground talking to people on the ground, you heard that what people were talking about were ideals that Democrats have been working on and they have been delivering on,” said Hunter.

Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse) is also heading back to the state Capitol. She won the race for the newly drawn 48th state Senate district. She said she thinks polls that showed a potentially close governor’s race between Gov. Kathy Hochul and Lee Zeldin helped encourage Democrats to vote.

"I think if people had taken for granted that she was going to win, we might not have had the turnout that we had,” said May. “So, perversely, I think the bad polls were actually good for Democrats."

Meanwhile, Democrats are also keeping a close eye on two big races up in the air: the 50th state senate district race between Sen. John Mannion (D-Syracuse) and Rebecca Shiroff and the 22nd Congressional district race between Francis Conole and Brandon Williams. Shiroff currently leads Mannion by just 396 votes, while Williams leads Conole by more than 3,200 votes.

Onondaga County Democratic Committee Chair Max Ruckdeschel said it’s important to analyze the results of this election year to plan for the future.

“All we can do really here in Onondaga County is make sure that we focus on picking good candidates that are going to really represent our community, both locally and within our federal government, and work hard,” he said.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.