Wonky Wednesday:  Town of Dewitt

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Welcome back to Wonky Wednesday.  Each week I take a deep dive into the registration and election data that makes up the landscape of Onondaga County.  This week I take a look at the most Democratic town in Onondaga County, the Town of Dewitt.  Every member of the Town Board, the Town Clerk, and the Town Supervisor is held by Democratic lawmakers.  It is also the most carved up Town in Onondaga in terms of County legislature seats.

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The Town of Dewitt has experienced the typical growth in registered voters large towns have seen in Onondaga County.  Don’t be fooled though by the slight decrease in 2021 as we just finished our National Change of Address which reduced the number of active voters county wide.  By the end of the year the Town of Dewitt should either catch or exceed its 2020 record registration.

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Not surprising the town of Dewitt has a large Democratic plurality.  In fact the GOP is now out numbered by the non-enrolled voters.  The Town of Dewitt is the most Democratic municipality outside the City of Syracuse.  That is not all they have in common.  Dewitt is broken up into four county legislature districts.  That is also the most county legislature districts for any municipality outside the City of Syracuse.  

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Dewitt has been a solid Democratic plurality for a long time. In Dewitt Democrats have steadily increased their plurality.  Unlike in other areas of Onondaga County this is not just a case of Democrats increasing the GOP has steadily lost numbers and percentage of voters.  In fact in 2019 the non-enrolled voter population overtook the GOP and has increased its lead over the GOP.

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The four county legislature districts of the Town of Dewitt are the classic examples of stacking and cracking that made up the 2010 redistricting process in Onondaga County and nationwide.  The 5th OCL is just one election district, one of the more GOP election ds, put into that weirdly shaped district in an attempt to keep it in GOP hands.  The 7th OCL went through the middle of Dewitt, it was in GOP hands for a long time as the former mayor of E. Syracuse, though the Democrats were able to flip this district in 2015.  The 17th OCL consists of some of the most democratic districts in Dewitt paired with heavy democratic districts in the City of Syracuse in attempt to stack as many Democrats into one district and keep them out of others that might turn them Democrat, specially in Dewitt.  The lower portion of Dewitt was put into OCL 12 to pair with the rural more GOP south east of the County to make a GOP district.

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Not surprising the Town of Dewitt as a whole is a strong performer for Democrats.  It is the only municipality where the “Significant six” races all went Democrat (except of course the City of Syracuse).  The registration advantage and Democratic representation provides a strong toehold for any candidate running on line A.  It is also a major target for redistricting in 2020 as it was in 2010 but will be a major player in 4 different legislative race, right now equally divided between GOP and Democrats.

In 2021 The Town of Dewitt the Town Supervisor, Clerk, one Town Justice, the highway superintendent, and 3 Town Councilors are up for election.  The Town Justice and the Town Highway Superintendent are currently held by the GOP.  At least one town councilor up for re-election has said she is not running for re-election.  The Town of Dewitt Democratic committee selects candidates via caucus which can happen anytime between March and July.  If you are interested in running for any of these seats and live in Dewitt or want to get involved in the committee contact Dewitt Town Chair Max Ruckdeschel at  max.ruckdeschel@gmail.com

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