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Politics and Government

Onondaga County GOP chair says special election ‘rigged’ in NY 50th Senate race

Ellen Abbott/Angi for State Senate/Facebook
Democrat John Mannion and Republican Angela Renna.

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo has set a special election to fill a state Senate seat in central New York, vacated by Republican Bob Antonacci, after he was elected to the state Supreme Court, last year. But the Onondaga County Republican Chair is calling the special election rigged in Democrats’ favor.

High school science teacher John Mannion is running for the seat again on the Democratic side, after losing to Antonacci by two percentage points in 2018. Angela Renna is the president of the Sterling Financial Group in Liverpool, a financial consulting firm, and is running on the Republican side. 

Onondaga County Republican Chair Tom Dadey said Renna is their candidate for the November election. But it’s still to be determined whether she will run in the special election, which is set for the same day as the presidential primary in New York State.

“The only people that are probably going to come to the polls on April 28, are people who want to vote in the Democratic primary for president,” Dadey said. “It puts the Republican Party and central New York quite frankly, at an unfair disadvantage, by only having Democrats show up to the polls.”

Cuomo said holding a special election on the same day as the presidential primary saves money. The election will also include races to fill a vacant congressional seat in western New York and vacant Assembly seats.

Dadey said they’ll make a decision about running in the special election in the next week or so.

"It's not a fair process," Dadey reiterated. "It clearly is rigged to have this on the day that they're doing it."

Dadey said he’s cautiously optimistic that Republicans will have a good Election Day in the fall, based on what he said is a need to counter balance Democrats’ control of all three branches of government in Albany. The 50th Senate district includes parts of Onondaga and Cayuga counties and was held for decades by Republican John DeFrancisco.