Ron Woodward has occupied the Fulton mayor's office since 2008, and before that for two years in the 1980s. The 70-year-old had planned to run for a fourth straight term as mayor, his fifth overall. He had already been endorsed by the Fulton GOP, but this week Woodward changed his mind, and announced that he would not run for re-election.
Two political newcomers had planned to challenge him in a primary.
29-year-old Ethan Parkhurst, owner of a local construction company, says it's time for a new generation of leadership. Parkhurst says if elected, he would embrace new-age technology like solar energy to reduce the city's electric bill and boost the local economy by building a new convention center paid for with stock purchased by local businesses.
"Hilton will come and build their hotels," Parkhurst said. "Restaurants will want to build, and people will come to purchase vacant properties, putting them back on the tax rolls. Property values will be at an all-time high. People will come by the thousands to our city instead of just pass through."
Deana Michaels, branch manager of Pathfinder's Fulton office, is also seeking the Republican ticket. She plans to draw on her experience of working with Fulton businesses and residents if elected.
"We have to run the city like a business and any successful business has to deliver great customer service," Michaels said. "Running a branch is like running a small business, and the key to that - first and foremost - was delivering customer service."
Both Parkhurst and Michaels are also seeking the Conservative Party line. On Thursday, the Oswego County GOP threw its support behind Michaels.
Fulton's representative in the Oswego County Legislature Dan Farfaglia is seeking the Democratic ticket in the race. Farfaglia says the time he spent in county government has prepared him to lead Fulton into the future, including his role in helping pass a tax break for home improvements and in terms of the connections he has made.
"In order for us to stay in good financial shape and provide services, we are going to need partnerships and more like shared services with all of the other local governments," Farfaglia said.