Perhaps the surprise of the evening was the fact that The Green Party Candidate for Mayor beat the Republican candidate. Howie Hawkins received 4 percent of the vote, for the first time in 60 years a minor party candidate has beaten a Republican or Democrat in a Syracuse Mayoral Election. Republican Candidate Laura Lavine won less than 3 percent of the vote. For the Green Party, that is quite an accomplishment from a party that fought their way to a position on the Ballot in New York State.
The Greens can now use the system to submit a full ballot of candidates. It can be noted that in each election cycle, the Green candidates list grows. In this city-wide election, The Green Party took another giant step towards establishing them as another alternative. Howie Hawkins was commended by the Mayor Elect, by recognizing his ability to bring issues to the table and articulate them, on behalf of others. It was a sincere homage to a man, who’s transformed Syracuse politics with his multiple issue-driven campaigns. Hawkins moved from sitting in the hot July sun collecting thousands of signatures, to a political force, whose issues are on the lips of many.
This Mayoral election was different from any campaign launched in Syracuse history. The Syracuse Mayoral race was won by Ben Walsh creating a coalition of the decent; people who, regardless of socio-economic standing, are tired of the bickering and are seeking an alternative to the hackneyed polices of the past.
Ben Walsh gave the City of Syracuse something to vote for, not against. His Rise Above message caused people to have hope for a better city. A city that’s in dire need of a new style of political leadership. Ben Walsh, fit that description.