After months of battling in the courts to hang on to their ballot line for mayor as they hunted for a candidate, local republicans now say the search is over. They will have no candidate. YNN's Bill Carey says the announcement clears the way for Stephanie Miner's re-election.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Walk into the main meeting room at local republican headquarters and you might notice a vintage jukebox in the corner. While it promises music, you'll also notice that it's empty, no records inside.
Symbolic, perhaps, of a party that now approaches Election Day with the ballot spot for the top race, Mayor of Syracuse, empty.
"We all know the lengths that the party went to keep our ballot line alive as long as we could in hopes of having a candidate. That candidate has not emerged," said Onondaga County Republican Chairman Thomas Dadey.
The republican chairman had not restricted the search to just members of his own party.
Dadey said, "We know that we are at a tremendous disadvantage in the City of Syracuse when it comes to our enrollment, where we're outnumbered three to one1. I have made it no secret to folks in the last year, as we've talked about this race, that we may entertain looking at somebody outside the Republican Party."
At least two democrats had been given a close look. Common Councilor Pat Hogan had challenged the mayor in a democratic primary. There had been some speculation he might be willing to take the republican line after losing that primary race. But the deal never took.
Hogan released a statement saying he was a "lifelong democrat" and has decided not to run as a republican.
Another former democratic councilor and one time state assemblyman, Joe Nicoletti, had also been approached and had also declined.
The republican surrender virtually assures Stephanie Miner of a second term as mayor of Syracuse. Come the fall, she will have opposition only from third party candidates, Kevin Bott for the Greens, Ian Hunter for the Conservatives.
Dadey says it was disappointing not to field a candidate, but he says there is always hope for the future.
"Politics is a lot like baseball. There's always a new season. And we're very optimistic that we're going to have some new players the next time a new season rolls around," Dadey said.
Republican chairman Dadey says he had tried to interest two top local republicans to consider a run for mayor. Both State Senator John DeFrancisco and County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon declined to join the race.