© 2023 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Field of Syracuse mayoral candidates narrows as Primary Day nears

Tom Magnarelli
Democrat Alfonso Davis (left) tells his supporters to write him in the primary ballot on Tuesday.

Tuesday is Primary Day in the city of Syracuse and the candidates running for mayor are making advances or dropping out of the race. The field of nine candidates is narrowing, but several names will likely be on the ballot in November.

Regardless of who wins the Democratic primary, Councilor Joe Nicoletti, the party’s endorsed candidate said he will continue running for mayor on the Working Families Party line. He is neck-and-neck with Democratic challenger Juanita Perez Williams in a recent poll, with Democrat Marty Masterpole trailing behind. Democrats Alfonso Davis and Raymond Blackwell are not on the ballot because some of their petition signatures were invalidated. Davis unsuccessfully sued the Onondaga County Board of Elections but told his supporters not to give up hope.

“If we are not placed back on the ballot, please write my name in," Davis said. "Spread the word and say they wrote him out, but we gonna write him in.”

Independent candidate Ben Walsh submitted more than 2,000 signatures last month to ensure he will be on the Upstate Jobs ballot line in addition to the Reform Party line.

“We wanted to remove any doubt or possibility that we could get knocked off when we went through this process," Walsh said. "That’s why we went above and beyond in the number of signatures. It was also a great opportunity to engage citizens in the city.”

Walsh is also mounting a write-in campaign against Republican Laura Lavine for the Independence Party line.

"The Independence Party did not give me their endorsement," Walsh said. "We think that based on the name of the party and what they've indicated that they stand for, that's a line that we believe could be valuable to us. Based on our initial conversations with some Independence Party members here in the city, we think it could be."

Chris Fowler dropped out of the race but Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins is still in. The mayoral candidates have spent more than $400,000 on their campaigns so far.

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.