There’s little elbow room in the race for Syracuse’s next Mayor; eight candidates and counting have thrown their hats in to take over for Mayor Stephanie Miner who cannot run again due to term limits. This week was the last chance for Democratic candidates to send a letter of intent to the party, to be considered for their designation next month.
Some aren’t strangers to the race; Democrat Joe Nicoletti has run several times. A current Common Councilor, he arguably has the most political experience of the candidates.
“I’m best to bring new ideas and make them work and adapt them to the government,” said Nicoletti.
Then there’s Alfonso Davis; it’s his third time running. He is known for openly criticizing Mayor Miner. He’s tried to unseat her twice in primaries. But says a lifetime in the city sets him apart.
“I am truly a Syracusan,” said Davis.
City Auditor Marty Masterpole, also a Democrat, has worked in both city and county government.
“Business background, young family. I believe I have the unique experience,” said Masterpole.
Some have spent time working in the Miner administration, like Juanita Perez Williams, who recently left a job as Regional Director for the state’s Department of Labor to run full-time.
“To walk away from a job, that’s a pretty big deal,” said Perez Williams.
Andrew Maxwell also worked under Miner. At 33, he would be the youngest Mayor since the late 1800s.
“I’ve spent the last 10 years in various roles for the city and county,” said Maxwell.
And rounding out the field of Democrats is Chris Fowler. He is the founder of Syracuse First, which promotes all things local.
“We’re going to have to revitalize the economy and the way that happens is through the localization of our economic development policies,” said Fowler.
The lone Republican is Laura Lavine, the Superintendent of LaFayette Central School District, who has earned strong support from local Republican leaders.
“I do think being a fresh face in politics is something people are looking for,” said Lavine.
Rounding out the field of eight is Ben Walsh, the Independent. He’s the next in a long political bloodline; both his grandfather and father held offices as Republicans.
A crowded race that, in six months, will be down to one.