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Bey secures Democratic victory in Syracuse mayoral primary

Madison Ruffo
WRVO Public Media
Democratic candidates Michael Greene (center) and Khalid Bey (right) discuss the unofficial vote count with Onondaga County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Dustin Czarny.

Khalid Bey is now the Democratic candidate to be Syracuse’s next mayor according to an unofficial vote count by the Onondaga County Board of Elections.

Now, Bey is already looking ahead to November.

“I'm ready for what's next to be quite frank,” he said.

Both Bey and his opponent, Michael Greene, watched and waited as around 600 absentee votes were counted to determine the outcome of their Democratic primary race. After only two hours, all of the ballots had been opened and Bey won by "about 34 votes," according Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny. 


Greene said losing this close of a race was devastating for him.

“I think to lose an election this close is excruciating, but we worked really hard and I'm proud of everything that we did,” said Greene. 

Despite his loss, Greene formally announced his endorsement of his opponent and colleague on the city’s Common Council. 

“He has my support going forward in the general election,” said Greene moments after his defeat. 

On June 22, the official in-person primary day, Bey had a marginal victory over Greene with 46 votes, but the race was too close to call until absentee ballots were counted. 

He said he’s ready to start knocking on two to three times as many doors as the 15,000 he knocked on during his primary campaign. Despite the close race, Bey is confident that he can unite the Democratic Party to defeat independent incumbent mayor Ben Walsh–though he knows it will be a challenge. 

“It's very tough to unseat an incumbent, especially one that has, I think, a decent amount of likability–which I think is very tough to overcome,” said Bey. “However, we have a job to do. So we have to get out there and make our case to the people. Hopefully, our message will resonate more.”


Madison Ruffo received a Master’s Degree from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in audio and health/science reporting. Madison has extensively covered the environment, local politics, public health, and business. When she’s not reporting, you can find Madison reading, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends.