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Democrat Bill Kinne launches bid for Onondaga County Executive

Democrat Bill Kinne launched his campaign for Onondaga County Executive on May 17, 2023 at the Valley American Legion.
Ava Pukatch
Democrat Bill Kinne launched his campaign for Onondaga County Executive on May 17, 2023 at the Valley American Legion.

Onondaga County Democratic Legislator Bill Kinne launched his campaign Wednesday for Onondaga County Executive.

Kinne is a long-time county legislator. First elected in 1991, he served until 2011. He was then a legislative aide from 2012 to 2018, and was elected again to the county legislature in 2019.

No Democrat has ever been elected Onondaga County Executive. As for what sets Kinne apart from previous Democrats who've run for the office?

"I've got a lot of experience," Kinne said. "I've been involved, I've been around, I know a lot of the issues. I believe that I can form a good team. I will hire people, put people around me that will tell me 'no.' I don't have all the answers, but I will put together a good team and I think we'll do what's right for the people. I'm not putting myself or big developers that give me money first. It's always going to be the citizens."

Kinne criticized several of County Executive Ryan McMahon's decisions like using ARPA funds to create a Micron video, originally posted to the county's website, which several county Democrats say was a campaign ad. McMahon has defended the video. The video no longer appears on the county's website.

Kinne also criticized the county spending $85 million on a new aquarium.

"I'm going to listen to people," Kinne said. "If I can't make the case — [McMahon] couldn't make the case for the aquarium, but he still went ahead with it. If I can't make the case for something, then shame on me. I've got to present the facts. I hope I'll do that. I think I can do it. But, I really believe that you have to listen to the voters."

Against an incumbent, Kinne acknowledges he faces a difficult election, but says he believes in the voters of Onondaga County to pick the "clear choice."

"I have faith in all the people in this county and what we can be if we invest in them — the people who make this community a community," Kinne said. "By working together, we can win this election. The 3,000 working men and women of Onondaga County deserve a better leader and almost half a million residents in this county deserve a better government."

The general election is November 7.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.