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Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh endorses Biden in race for president

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Tom Magnarelli
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WRVO News (file photo)

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said Thursday that he plans to vote for Joe Biden in November's presidential election.

In an interview with Grant Reeher for this week's episode of WRVO's Campbell Conversations, Walsh, who was elected mayor as an independent in 2017, said that he "cannot in good conscience" vote for Trump in November.

"The president consistently doesn't tell the truth. That's a huge problem for anyone," Walsh said.  "I'm a dad, and that's one of the first things you teach your kids is to tell the truth, and he doesn't do that, and that's a huge problem."

Walsh also called Trump's attacks on the press "crazy."

"That is a foundational element of our democracy, it's not a Democrat or Republican issue," Walsh said. "But now, any time something comes out from the press that's not consistent with what people believe or want to believe, it's 'fake news.' It's crazy."

Walsh said he was proud of his father, former Rep. Jim Walsh, after he joined more than a dozen former Republican members of Congress last month to endorse Biden. Walsh represented central New York in Congress for 20 years, retiring in 2008.

"He is a self-described rock-ribbed Republican. I am not," Walsh said. "But for him to do that? That was significant. He really contemplated it."

Jim Walsh, in an interview with WRVO in August, said the president has done a terrible job managing the coronavirus pandemic, and the economy is in bad shape. Walsh said Biden, on the other hand, is more of a moderate Democrat and strong on issues like defense.

“He’s a thoughtful person; he’s a good person,” he said. "He makes good decisions. He respects other people whether they agree with him or not. I think that’s a very valuable and important attribute."

Neither Walsh voted for Trump in 2016. Jim wrote John Kasich's name on the ballot. But this year, both will vote for Biden.

"I couldn't in good conscience support him [Trump]," said Ben Walsh. "I didn't four years ago, but I think the stakes are even higher now. I don't need a press conference or press release to say that I intend to vote for Joe Biden."