The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.
Syracuse residents will cast their ballots for several state and local races during the general election Nov. 3.
Candidates are running for positions representing New York’s 24th Congressional District, the New York State Senate and Assembly, the New York Supreme Court and the Syracuse City Court.
With about a week until Election Day, here is everything you need to know about what will be on the ballot for Syracuse residents:
Democrat Dana Balter is running against three-time incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) to represent New York’s 24th Congressional District.
Balter, who was a professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, launched her 2020 campaign in April 2019 after narrowly losing her first campaign to Katko in 2018.
A primary component of Balter and Katko’s campaigns is health care reform. If elected, Balter said she’ll fight to protect the Affordable Care Act, with universal health care being her ultimate goal.
Katko has pushed to find an alternative to the Affordable Care Act but has also opposed efforts to repeal the legislation that don’t include a replacement plan. While he’s against universal health care, he said he would push for an alternative that keeps requirements that protect people with preexisting conditions.
The two candidates are also focused on police reform and criminal justice.
Katko recently sponsored the Justice Act, a narrow alternative to police reform that Republicans introduced in Congress in June. While the George Floyd Policing Act, which Katko voted against, would ban chokeholds, the Justice Act would discourage police departments from using them or other uses of force.
Balter has said she supports demilitarizing police departments, legalizing marijuana and expunging past marijuana-related convictions. She has also proposed providing mental health and job training services in prisons, ending mandatory minimum sentences and three-strikes laws and ending the use of private prisons and detention centers.
New York State Senate
Republican Sam Rodgers is campaigning against State Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse), who has represented New York’s 53rd Senate District since 2019. The 53rd District includes Madison County and parts of Oneida and Onondaga counties.
Rodgers, a former SU football team captain, currently works as an assistant district attorney in Madison County. He has cited central New York’s declining population as a major issue facing the area, and he said he hopes to prioritize legislation that would attract young professionals to the region.
May is chair of the state Senate’s Committee on Aging and the Commission on Rural Resources. She has co-sponsored legislation supporting environmental protection and women’s health care efforts, according to her website. Her agenda also lists increasing funding for public schools and revitalizing Syracuse’s Interstate-81 corridor as campaign priorities.
New York State Assembly
Republican Ed Weber is challenging incumbent Bill Magnarelli (D-Syracuse) for his seat in the New York State Assembly.
Weber is currently a town councilor and deputy town supervisor in Geddes. He’s also a former senior detective in SU’s Department of Public Safety, and he received an award in 2014 for his response to a lightning strike that injured him and another DPS officer.
If elected, Weber looks to repeal the Criminal Justice Bail Reform Act, which eliminated cash bail for those held before trial in New York state and set term limits for elected officials.
Magnarelli has served in the Assembly since 1999. During his time in office, he supported the Women’s Health and Wellness Act, a comprehensive women’s health care coverage law, and helped preserve and expand an insurance program to provide senior citizens with low-cost prescriptions.
New York State Supreme Court
Democrat Rory McMahon and Republican Michael Young are both running for a position on the New York Supreme Court for the fifth judicial district. The fifth judicial district covers Onondaga, Jefferson, Lewis, Herkimer, Oneida and Oswego counties.
McMahon, who is currently a Syracuse City Court judge, announced his campaign months after coming in fifth in fundraising and votes in last year’s race for New York Supreme Court. He was previously a prosecutor in Onondaga County and a member of the Syracuse Common Council.
He also led an initiative in 2018 to create the Court for Addiction, Recovery and Education, a special court in Syracuse focused on treating individuals with opioid addictions.
Young, who announced his campaign against McMahon in August, is the former Lewis County District Attorney. He currently runs a general practice law firm in Lowville, New York that has handled cases in the supreme, criminal and family courts of multiple counties.
McMahon has spent nearly $33,000 on his race so far, more than twice as much as Young’s $14,500 in expenditures, according to Syracuse.com.
Syracuse City Court
There are five candidates running for positions on the Syracuse City Court.
The two Democratic candidates are Felicia Davis and Shadia Tadros. Davis has been an attorney for over 24 years and Tadros serves as the managing attorney for the Tadros Law Office in Syracuse.
Jason Zeigler, Jeff Leibo and Ted Limpert are all running as independents. Limpert is currently a judge on the Syracuse City Court, and Leibo is an administrative law judge for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
Where to vote
Early voting for the general election started Saturday and will run until Nov. 1. Early voters can cast their ballots in Syracuse at the Syracuse Community Connections Center on South Avenue or at the Armond Magnarelli Center on Grant Boulevard.
Polls on Election Day will open on Nov. 3 at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.
Residents who live near or at SU’s campus can vote at Huntington Hall, the Spiritual Renewal Center on Lancaster Avenue and the Erwin First United Methodist Church on Euclid Avenue.
Other voting locations in Syracuse include the Greater Evangelical Church on South Salina Street and the Drumlins Country Club on Nottingham Road.
Voters received a postcard containing their assigned polling place, as well as information for Election Day, after they registered to vote.
Published on October 26, 2020 at 11:55 pm
Contact Maggie: firstname.lastname@example.org | @maggie_hickss