Focus on local races elevates leaders across the State
|Many will tell you that local elections are vitally important for several reasons, including the scale of impact these local races have on our daily lives. That’s why Upstate Jobs was so invested in several races around the State this year. Our team sought out leaders in 2019 that have shown the ability to unify the electorate and make New York a better place for business, so we can all succeed. Of course, our top objective is making sure we have a healthy economy in Upstate New York so we stop our population outflow and allow entrepreneurs to succeed.|
Our 2019 Approach
UJP backed candidates in the Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, and Western New York from Town and City level to County Executive. Because UJP is not yet a recognized political Party, our organization isn’t able to directly engage with candidates, but must instead invest in their campaigns indirectly, by supporting them without coordinating with the candidates or their teams. We do this by placing digital ads, social media ads, and in some cases direct mail pieces. In this year’s campaign, the Upstate Jobs Committee invested more than $60,000 in races around the State.
We’re thrilled to report that the candidates UJP supported were wildly successful.
In the Capital Region, Halfmoon Town Supervisor Kevin Tollisen and Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan were both re-elected. Kevin is currently the Chair of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors. Michele ran on the Independence line, defeating the Democratic Candidate under a bipartisan banner of unity dubbed “One Saratoga.”
In the Mohawk Valley, UJP enjoyed a bipartisan sweep. Running on the Democratic and UJP lines in Little Falls, Mayor Mark Blask was reelected, as was Democratic Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri. More than 15% of the votes Blask received came on the UJP line! UJP also supported Republican Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, who was easily reelected.
Central New York
In Central New York, County Executive Ryan McMahon was running on the UJP line, in addition to several others. This race was important, as you might recall litigation earlier in the year seeking to maintain the UJP line separately. The local board of elections consolidated that line to the Independence line and UJP fought unsuccessfully in court to have this issue reversed. Despite that setback, County Executive McMahon was reelected, receiving more than 3,700 votes on the Independence/UJP line, nearly half his margin of victory.
Western New York
Finally, in Western NY, UJP endorsed Independent candidate Lynne Dixon for Erie County Executive. This was UJP’s first endorsement in Erie County and despite a valiant effort against a well funded and entrenched incumbent, Lynne came up short in her effort, coming up seven points short. However, her campaign raised some very important questions about projects in the region. Hopefully, she continues to speak up, as challenging stories on marquee projects in Western New York continue to come out.
We congratulate all candidates and thank them for seeking to serve our communities – and we’re already looking forward to 2020!