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Onondaga County Republicans designate Mike Sigler as its candidate for Congress

 Tompkins County legislator Mike Sigler received the GOP endorsement in Onondaga County for the 22nd Congressional District race
Mike Sigler
Tompkins County legislator Mike Sigler received the GOP endorsement in Onondaga County for the 22nd Congressional District race

An Ithaca area Republican has won support of the GOP in Onondaga County as the race for the newly created 22nd Congressional District takes shape.

Mike Sigler, a Tompkins County legislator from Lansing, won the biggest county endorsement in the district in a three-way vote Monday night. The race is for an open seat after Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) announced his decision not to run for re-election this year.

Sigler calls himself a moderate, and said he wants to use Katko’s playbook to run in the new district that leans Democratic.

“He had a formula on how to really reach voters. Not just Republicans, but Democrats and Independents as well,” Sigler said. “So you look at what formula he used, maybe it’s a little more blue. But I think you can reach those people. I certainly do in Tompkins County."

Sigler has served as a legislator for 12 years, but he admits name recognition is an issue across the new 22nd district, which spans parts of eight counties across central New York and the Finger Lakes.

“I’m gonna have to basically work hard just to get known in the district,” he said. Granted, I know people in Cayuga, Seneca and Tompkins. But in Onondaga, although I do have ties, it’s every street in every town and we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna meet people.”

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Brandon Williams won the Conservative Party designation for the 22nd Congressional District race, but plans to collect signatures to get on the GOP ballot as well

The designation means Sigler will have access to resources from county Republicans during the race. But Sigler has some competition from the right. Brandon Williams of Sennett, came in second in the Onondaga County vote, and has ensured a place on the ballot after he won the state Conservative Party designation for the seat. He plans to challenge Sigler in a GOP primary.

“I’m still on the ballot with the State Conservative party, and we’re passing petitions to make sure my name is on the Republican line as well,” Williams said. “Because uniting the Republican and Conservative lines only makes sense to win in November."

There are seven Democrats vying for the nomination from their party. Onondaga County Democrats designated Francis Conole as their preferred candidate in the race. Primary day in New York is June 28.

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.