Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, an independent, has endorsed Democratic state Assemblyman Al Stirpe in the race for the 50th state Senate District seat in Central New York, Stirpe announced Monday.

“Al Stirpe understands the importance of the City of Syracuse to our whole region. He’s been an effective advocate on issues that matter to city residents from creating jobs at the Syracuse Tech Garden to working with Centro to provide service from the Hub in downtown Syracuse to manufacturers in the northern suburb,” Walsh said in a statement. “I am proud to support him in his campaign for NYS Senate to bring common sense solutions to the challenges we face and advocating for much needed resources for Central New York.”

Stirpe is among several candidates vying for the state Senate seat in 2024, which is being vacated by Democratic state Sen. John Mannion, who is running for Congress. Former Oswego County Legislature Minority Leader Tom Drumm, a Democrat, and Republican Onondaga County Legislature Chairman James Rowley, have also announced their campaigns for the seat. Drumm has been endorsed by the Oswego County Democratic Party chair.

“I am excited to announce that our campaign has received the endorsement of Mayor Ben Walsh of Syracuse. Mayor Walsh has been honorably serving the City of Syracuse since 2018, and knows firsthand that our Central New York community thrives when it is well-represented by strong leaders in government," Stirpe said. "He deeply understands that I am a powerful advocate for our region and have a record of getting things done in Albany. I am proud to have his full support for our campaign for the State Senate as we fight to keep this region on the right track – full steam ahead."

Mayor Walsh, whose father, Jim Walsh, represented Central New York in Congress in 20 years as a Republican, has endorsed several Democratic candidates for office during his tenure, including Andrew Cuomo for governor in 2018, Joe Biden for president in 2020 and Francis Conole for Congress in 2022.

The 50th state Senate District includes Syracuse’s northern, western and eastern suburbs, as well as Central Square and the cities of Fulton and Oswego. It was long held by Republican John DeFrancisco before his retirement in 2018. It was then filled by Republican Bob Antonacci before he sought and won a judgeship. Mannion won the seat in 2020 and was narrowly reelected in 2022. It has been one of the most competitive districts and most expensive state Senate races over the last few cycles.


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