Third Party Candidate Elected Mayor Of Syracuse
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Politics and Activism

Third Party Candidate Elected Mayor Of Syracuse

Ben Walsh is to be next mayor of Syracuse, New York.

Third Party Candidate Elected Mayor Of Syracuse
Michael Greenlar, Syracuse.Com

The minor party candidate Ben Walsh has been elected as the new mayor of Syracuse, New York.

Ben Walsh is a businessman and public administrator. He has a master's degree in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. His record includes work at the Metropolitan Development Association, six years as Syracuse’s deputy commissioner of neighborhood and business development, and serving as president of the Board of Trustees at The Gifford Foundation.

Ben Walsh initially began his run as an independent candidate. Though in the course of his campaign he was designated the candidate of three minor parties, who placed him on the ballot under their party line. Those parties were the Independence Party, the Reform Party, and the Upstate Jobs Party.

The Independence Party is currently the third largest political party in New York, with over half a million New York voters registered as members. It was founded in the early 1990’s by people seeking to create a political party that would allow for New York voters not registered with a political party to vote in primary elections.

The Reform Party is one of the two political parties that became a state recognized political party in the 2014 governor election, when they met the requirement of having their candidate for governor receive over 50,000 votes under their ballot line (the other party being the Women’s Equality Party). They were initially named the Stop Common Core Party, but later changed their name as part of a reorganization that broadened their platform to include support for various changes to state policy and support for stronger ethics laws for public officials. They also merged with the state members of the national Reform Party, and became an affiliate of it.

The Upstate Jobs party is political group that describes its main focus as pursuing policies to increase the job rates and economic activity in upstate New York. It emerged a few years ago, with its support largely centered in the Syracuse area, and has ambitions of becoming a state recognized party.

Ben Walsh faced off against Democratic candidate Juanita Perez Williams, Republican candidate Laura Levine, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, and Working Families Party candidate Joe Nicoletti.

On election day, last Tuesday, Walsh received 54.1% of the vote, while Perez Williams received 38.1%, Hawkins received 4.1%, Levine received 2.5%, and Nicoletti received 1%. With these results, not only did Walsh beat two major party candidates, but Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins also out did the republican candidate.

By winning the election, Ben Walsh has become the second minor party candidate to become mayor of Syracuse. The first was Progressive Party candidate Louis Will in 1914. With Walsh set to take stage as the new Mayor of Syracuse, one is left to wonder how this will affect the future of Syracuse, and whether having a minor party candidate become mayor of the fifth largest city in New York state might signal future growth for minor party pollical activity and successes.

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