Independent Ben Walsh wins Syracuse mayoral race

Ben Walsh celebrates his victory at his election night party Tuesday night/ Photojournalist Quindell Williams

Ben Walsh is projected to become the next mayor of Syracuse and the first independent to lead the city in more than a century.

With all precincts reporting, Walsh had nearly 4,000 more votes than his closest challenger, Democrat Juanita Perez Williams, leading with 54 percent to her 38 percent. Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, and Republican Laura Lavine had 4 percent and 2.4 percent of the vote, respectively.

Walsh may have provided an omen for how the night would end before voting was even finished, arriving at his election night party at the Syracuse Marriott Downtown before the polls even closed.

"I'm feeling great. Gonna be a good night," Walsh said as he arrived at his party.

"Because of this decision - your decision - I know with more conviction than ever that the best days in the history of Syracuse are still ahead of us," Walsh said to an excited crowd during his victory speech.

Walsh will replace current Democratic mayor Stephanie Miner in January. Miner is term-limited out of office after leading the city's government for eight years.

Miner issued the following statement Tuesday morning about Walsh's victory:

This morning, I called Ben Walsh to congratulate him on his well-earned victory in last night’s mayoral election and to offer my administration’s full assistance for a seamless and organized transition.

See Walsh's extended interview with CBS5's Michael Benny from the days leading up to the election, where he discusses the issues the city faces, in the player above (if you're viewing this article on the mobile app, click here to watch the video).

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