Field getting crowded in race for Syracuse Mayor: Matt's Memo

It could take a few elbows and nudges to find space in the ever developing field of candidates for Mayor of Syracuse. The term limited pending departure of Mayor Stephanie Miner has brought out a litany of choices. So far there is one republican, three democrats and one independent who have declared their intent to run for mayor.

The latest addition this week is long time Syracuse politician Joe Nicoletti. Nicoletti's announcement came as no surprise. One year ago I sat down to talk with him at an Armory Square coffee shop. In the blog I wrote:

Joe Nicoletti has known all the mayors over the last 50 years. In 1985 he made his first run before mentor Mayor Lee Alexander had announced he would not, and there were other attempts. After all of those runs for the city's top job, his new appointment to the common council has everyone asking if he'll seek it again.
"Have I wanted to be mayor? Yes, because that's the seat you need to have to restore our city to greatness," said Nicoletti.
"I've learned from the past never say never. If an opportunity arises I would consider that opportunity."

After winning election to his Common Council seat last fall Nicoletti had jumped the main hurdle before starting his run for mayor. Keep in mind fellow Democrats Marty Masterpole, Alfonso Davis and Andrew Maxwell are standing in the way. So is the lone Republican, as of now, Laura Lavine and non-enrolled Independent Ben Walsh.

Interestingly the current mayor did her successor a favor by objecting to the idea of Onondaga County taking over the City of Syracuse. Mayor Miner harshly disagreed with the proposal of the Consensus committee that recommended a merger. Her opposition along with Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon rejecting the idea seems to have cleared the way for the next mayor to be in office for a while. Otherwise, it might have been as little as one year.

There will be more entrants into the field before party committees make decisions this spring. The democrats appear headed for a September primary. Maybe the republicans will have another option too.

Remember choices are good. The community deserves the competition demanded of the candidates when they have to rise above one another. Right now there is diversity in party, age, gender, race and experience in governing. That's a pretty good start that will climax on Election Night, November 7th.

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