© 2023 WRVO Public Media
Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

CNY school superintendent announces run for mayor of Syracuse

Ellen Abbott
Laura Lavine announcing her candidacy for mayor of SYracuse Thursday. At left is Onondaga County Republican Party Chair Tom Dadey

Republicans believe they have a candidate in place that can put Syracuse City Hall back in GOP hands. Laura Lavine, currently the superintendent of the LaFayette School District announced she’s running for mayor Thursday.

Lavine has lived in the same house on Syracuse’s east side for more than 50 years.

“I love my city, and everybody says that, but I’m now in a unique situation to do something about it,” said Lavine.

Lavine wants to be an agent of change, concentrating on some of the issues that currently plague the city: crime, a crumbling infrastructure, and relentless poverty.

Lavine will be leaving her job as the superintendent of the LaFayette School District in June. She has the support of most elected Republican officials in central New York, as well as the Republican committee. And in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans three-to-one, she believes she can reach for support across party lines.

“Although I’m a lifelong Republican and very proud of it, I do view myself as a multi-party candidate,” she said. “I’ve had people from all political platforms and enrollments indicate their support for me.” 

Two others have announced their candidacy in the race for mayor. Democrat Alfonso Davis, who has run for mayor before without party support, and Independent Ben Walsh. There are a number of Democrats considering a run as well. Lavine will begin fundraising shortly, and Republican Party Chair Tom Dadey expects it will take a million dollars to win the seat. He believes Lavine, who’s only political experience is running for school board more than 30 years ago, is jumping into politics at the right time.

“The one thing we learned from President Trump's election in November is that folks are sick and tired of career politicians, folks that think they’re entitled to be the next elected generation. And Laura is an agent for change,” said Dadey.

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.