Welcome back to Wonky Wednesday. Each week I take a look at the registration and election data that makes up the electoral makeup of Onondaga County. Today I focus on one of the 3 largest town in our County, Cicero NY. This town is the largest GOP town and one of the few areas of the county where the GOP is not losing ground on an annual basis. It does not have a ward system but is cut in two by two different county legislature districts, OCL 3 and OCL 5. Though because of our shall we say “unique” legislative districts, neither one is wholly inside the town.
The town of Cicero follows the trend of large suburban towns experiencing registration surges over the last few years. Like most areas of Onondaga County the registration surge started in 2016 and continues until 2021. Easier registration options such as MYDMV is likely the major cause with population migration toward large suburban towns. Cicero trails only Manlius and Clay in overall registered voters.
The town of Cicero has a definite GOP lean. 34% of its registrants are enrolled in the GOP with only 30% Democrat. There is a strong Conservative party presence here with over 500 conservatives 2nd only to Clay and a higher percentage. A vast growing non-enrolled population makes up 28% of the enrollment. Only 1/4 of the population of Cicero resides in OCL 5 which makes up the southwest corner of the town and 3/4 of the population resides in OCL 3 which makes up the rest of the town.
Unlike other areas of Onondaga County the GOP population has grown in Cicero instead of remaining stagnant or losing population. Democrats have increased their population and kept pace though recent data seems they may have lost ground last year. The Non-Enrolled population is the fastest growing segment over the last few years as well. If Democrats want to have success in the future of Cicero it will depend on activating that segment of the population as a swing vote in future elections.
The two County Legislature districts portions of Cicero are quite different in enrollment. OCL 5 contains the portion of the Village of North Syracuse (half of it resides in Clay) and is more of a suburban setting with population centers and developments. OCL 3 portion of Cicero is more rural and has a definitive GOP lean. I will delve more into the whole portions of these OCL districts later this summer.
The “Significant Six” races that we use as a comparison to see how this town reacts electorally is not pretty for Democrats. This is one of only 5 towns that have none of the 6 that resulted in a Democratic plurality. No matter the race Democrats came up on the short end. That being said the Town of Cicero did have a Democratic supervisor in the recent past and that person Judy Boyke, has won election to the Town Board. So local races can still be successful.
In 2021 the Town Supervisor, Town Clerk, Receiver of Taxes, Highway Superintendent, and two Town Councilors are all up for election this year. Only one of the Town Board members (Judy Boyke) is held by a Democrat. The Town of Cicero Democratic Committee fills local races by caucus and us until mid-July to hold a caucus meeting. Perspective candidates should talk to Nate Riley Town of Cicero chair about either becoming part of the committee or running for office. He can be reached at email@example.com.