NCC News Reporter Jefferson Fenner gathers reactions from Ben Walsh’s historic victory for Democracy in Action
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Democracy In Action) Ben Walsh has won the race to become the 54th Mayor of Syracuse. Walsh became the first independent candidate in 100 years to win the Mayorship, defeating Democrat Juanita Perez-Williams by 16 points.
Walsh had a tough road leading up to this historic victory. He was previously denied the Republican party nomination after failing to register with the party. But, after winning the lines for the Independent and Reform parties, Walsh was able to get his name on the ballot. The first polls showed him down by as much as 10 points to Perez-Williams, but over the months, he clawed back in the polls. A poll from this Sunday showed Walsh was up by two points over Perez-Williams
Voters and Supporters crammed into the Marriott Downtown Syracuse for the watch party and started celebrating as the numbers slowly made their way in.
By 10:00, the mood was festive as with over 60% of the votes in, Walsh was clearly pulling away.
Stephanie Crockett, a volunteer who worked in Marketing, said she was thrilled when she was watching the results come in. “This was almost a miracle to pull off. This is a city with 56% democrat and it’s clearly a city ready for change.”
Walsh replaces Stephanie Miner, who hit her term limit after serving as Mayor for eight years. In his victory speech, Walsh praised his fellow candidates and spoke about the future of the city. “It’s time to rise above,” he told the crowd of supporters.
Walsh will take the oath of office in January of 2018.