Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh formally endorsed Democrat Francis Conole in the race for New York’s 22nd Congressional District seat, Conole’s campaign announced Tuesday.

“We’ve been fortunate to have a long line of representatives in Congress that have been willing to work in a bipartisan fashion to get things done and deliver for Central New York,” Walsh said in a statement. “From his time in the Navy, to serving under Secretaries of Defense of both parties, Fran has shown that same ability to bring people together, find common ground and solve problems. As Central New York becomes a stronger force in the New Economy and as our nation grapples with political extremism, these skills are needed now more than ever in Washington DC.”

The endorsement is a significant one from Walsh, an independent who has been elected twice mayor of Syracuse, and whose father, a Republican, represented the Syracuse-based district in Congress for 20 years.

Walsh also endorsed Joe Biden for president in 2020, as did his father.

“I am honored to have Mayor Walsh’s support. As one of the few independent mayors in the country, Mayor Walsh has been an outstanding leader who has put community and country over party politics and built a diverse coalition bringing people together across the political spectrum to achieve results,” Conole said in a statement. “His tenure has been marked by a growing economy, population and tax base, and enhancing the quality of life for the working families in Syracuse. This pragmatic and collaborative approach is something that is sorely missing in Washington DC today and something Brandon Williams has pledged not to do. I look forward to working closely with Mayor Walsh to deliver for Central New York.”

The city of Syracuse is the biggest population center in the new 22nd District, which is made up of Onondaga, Madison and Oneida counties.

Conole recently defeated three other candidates in the Democratic primary election in August. He faces Republican Brandon Williams in the general election in November.


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