Syracuse independent mayor backs Democrat for Congress | Policy
For years, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh did not support the race for Central Congress in New York.
Walsh, an independent, is supporting Democratic candidate Francis Conole in the 22nd congressional district. The city of Syracuse and Onondaga County are within the district, along with all of Madison and Oneida counties, as well as a small portion of Oswego County.
“We’ve been blessed with a long line of congressional representatives who have been willing to work bipartisanly to get things done and deliver for central New York,” said Walsh, the former’s son. U.S. Republican Representative Jim Walsh. .
“From his time in the Navy to his duties under both sides’ defense secretaries, Fran has shown that same ability to bring people together, find common ground and solve problems. While the center of New York becomes a stronger force in the new economy and as our nation grapples with political extremism, these skills are needed more than ever in Washington, D.C.”
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The endorsement is significant because Walsh runs the largest city in the district and he has stayed out of recent congressional races. Since being elected mayor in 2017, he has not endorsed either Republican U.S. Representative John Katko or Democratic candidate Dana Balter in the 2018 or 2020 congressional elections. However, he had a good working relationship with Katko , who has represented Syracuse in Congress for the past eight years.
After winning the Democratic primary, Conole positioned himself as the moderate candidate in the 22nd District race. His GOP opponent is Brandon Williams, who has taken more conservative stances on the issues.
Conole praised Walsh’s support. He called the mayor of Syracuse “an outstanding leader who put the community and the country above party politics.”
“His tenure has been marked by a growing economy, population and tax base, and improving the quality of life for working families in Syracuse,” Conole said. “This pragmatic, collaborative approach is something sorely lacking in Washington, D.C., today and something Brandon Williams has pledged not to do. I look forward to working closely with Mayor Walsh to deliver downtown New York.”
The 22nd District race is seen by Democrats as a pick-up opportunity after Katko held the Syracuse-area seat for four terms. He chose not to run again this year. Republicans hope to retain the seat and plan to invest millions in the race.
Political journalist Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.