CNY Solidarity Coalition

United in defense of our community and our neighbors

LET’S PRIMARY: A Resource and Call to Action

Primary season 2019 is a potential game changer for Central New York, as our movement produces an ever-increasing number of progressive local candidates.

In Washington and across the country, we’re seeing candidates from communities most impacted by inequality and racism step up and run for office, and win.

Likewise in Central New York, we now have an opportunity to support some exciting candidates from underserved communities, who can champion the voices and needs of those who are suffering under the status quo.

We’ve seen the incredible power our community can put behind candidates, and we’ve celebrated some big wins in our midterm elections. Now is the time to get back to work, and get these folks in the game. We can’t vote for change, if we don’t get the change makers on the ballot.

While CNY Solidarity Coalition does not endorse candidates or engage directly in campaigns for office, our members tend to be very engaged in the electoral process. In the interest of a robust primary, we have compiled some information to encourage you to get involved— now, before it’s too late.

The window for candidates to collect the required number of signatures to get on the ballot closes April 4. We can’t stress enough the time to get involved is NOW.

Party designees have the backing and resources of the local committee, including teams of people to walk neighborhoods collecting signatures. This puts many of our progressive candidates at an immediate disadvantage, and they need your boots on the ground. Without your support, they’re in serious danger of not having enough signatures to run. If you support fair elections, support a robust primary, accessible to all— walk some petitions, and bring your friends!

The Primary IS the Election

In Central New York, where registered Democrats far outnumber Republicans (four to one in the City of Syracuse, and by 25% in Onondaga County– see table below for up to date numbers), primary elections afford us the opportunity to hash out nuances between candidates, and push progressive policies. Voters are much more likely to vote party line in the November.

Registered Voters in Onondaga County

SyracuseOnondaga County
Working Families4721,180
Serve America00
Women’s Equality90165
No Party Affiliation15,87373,119

The 2018 Syracuse City Court race was a prime example of this phenomenon. In the Democratic Primary, Ann Magnarelli won by only 1.3 percentage points (121 votes) and received the Democratic nomination. Yet in the general election, Magnarelli won in a landslide by 57.85 percentage points (20,020 votes) over Shadia Tadros, who ran on the Working Families Party line and pushed progressive ideas into the conversation. Had Tadros won just 122 more votes in the primary, she easily would’ve won the general.

2018 Syracuse City Court Democratic Primary Election

Ann Magnarelli3,33433.7%
Shadia Tadros3,21332.48%
Felicia Pitts Davis2,88929.2%

2018 Syracuse City Court General Election

Ann Magnarelli (D)24,21166.39%
Shadia Tadros (WFP)4,19111.49%
Jason Zeigler (R)6,41517.59%

To bring real change for those who need it most, get involved— not in November, not even in June, but NOW!

Important Dates:

Thursday, April 4: Last day for candidates to collect signatures.

Friday, May 31: Last day to postmark an application or register in person to be eligible to vote in the primary.

Tuesday, June 25: Primary election. Polls open at noon and close at 9pm.

Voter Registration Information:

Click here to check your voter registration and find out what legislative districts you’re in.

If you have questions, you can also call (315) 435-VOTE

How to Register:

Download a PDF copy and submit it at the Board of Elections Office or by mail.

You may also register online through the DMV website:

Voter Registration forms are also available from:

  • U.S. Post Offices
  • Public Libraries
  • Village/Town Clerk Offices

To receive registration forms by mail, click here to request: Voter Registration Application Request Form

Board of Elections Websites:

Races with primary challengers

* Indicates party designee
^ Indicates incumbent

Onondaga County Legislature

7th District: Mary Kuhn is challenging Joey Chiarenza*

9th District: Gina Iliev is challenging Peggy Chase*^

15th District: Misse Ross is challenging Bill Kinne*

16th District: Charles Garland is challenging Vernon Williams*

Syracuse Common Council

Councilor-at-Large: Rita Paniagua is challenging Steve Thompson*^ and Michael Greene*^ (two seats available)

3rd District: Emad Rahim and Chol-Awan Majok are challenging Bryn Lovejoy-Grinnell

Syracuse School Board

Commissioner of Education: Twiggy Billue is challenging Katie Sojewicz*^, Daniel Romeo*^, Tamica Barnett*, and Mark Muhammad*^ (four seats available)

We included links to candidate pages when available, and listed races we know have primary challengers. Please feel free to email the author for additions/corrections.

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

En Español »