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Hochul endorses Bey for Syracuse mayor during rally with Onondaga County Democrats

Ellen Abbott
Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks to Onondaga County Democrats Saturday, October 23, 2021

With just a little more than a week before Election Day, Gov. Kathy Hochul traveled the state this weekend, rallying Democrats to get out the vote. During a stop in Syracuse Saturday, Hochul called this year’s local races some of the most important ballots voters can cast.

Hochul’s visit was brief, huddling and taking pictures with candidates in a side room in a union hall, and then bringing an election message to the dozens of Democrats gathered on a drizzly afternoon.

"I got one thing to say, get out there and win,” Hochul said. “Win for the Democrats of Onondaga County, win for the Democrats of the city of Syracuse. We can do this, you’re the ones doing it, and I’m with you all the way.”

Pam Hunter
Gov. Kathy Hochul, center, with State Assemblywoman Pam Hunter, left, and Syracuse Common Councilor Khalid Bey, the Democratic candidate for mayor of Syracuse

Hochul mentioned support in particular for Democrat Khalid Bey, who’s running for mayor of Syracuse in an overwhelmingly Democratic city against independent incumbent Ben Walsh and Republican Janet Burman.

She also emphasized the efforts of Democrats trying to take control of the Onondaga County legislature. Hochul, who cut her political teeth in local government, said off-year elections like this year, determine the officials who have the most direct contact with constituents.

“This is the year that truly makes a difference in people's lives,” said Hochul. “I know about this because I’ve worked 14 years as a local official, and then as a county official for four more years. So in my mind I’m hard-wired to think as a local official because this is the most direct connection people have with their government.”

Hochul promised those local governments wouldn’t get a short shrift from an Albany culture that has traditionally put state government first.

“Pushing the locals around just because they could. Well my friends, that era is over,” she said. “We are empowering our local government to do what they do best, where it’s fighting a pandemic, whether it’s creating jobs, whether it’s supporting outstanding education and health care, I’m here to help you succeed."

Early voting started this past weekend in New York State. Election Day is November 2.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.