Wonky Wednesday:  The Town of Lysander


Welcome back to Wonky Wednesday.  Each week I do a deep dive into the election and registration data that makes up the electoral landscape of our home, Onondaga County.  I hope by looking into this data we can glean that this everchanging county is not monolithic as once thought and competition for Democrats, and all registrations, can be found everywhere.  This week I look into the Town of Lysander.

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Lysander sits in the Northwest corner of our county and is one of the larger towns.  The Village of Baldwinsville straddles its border with Van Buren, one of two such villages that cross town lines in our county.  Lysander is the only large town that sits wholly in a county legislative district (1).  Since it is not split by a ward system either ad has 18 election districts it is hard to break up into pieces and has to be looked at as a whole.

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Like many areas of Onondaga County we have seen an increase in registered voters in this town over the last decade.  A steady stream of registration mirrors the population shifts that have grown the school district as well.  The town itself is a mix of suburban neighborhoods and rural agrarian sections and it will take the upcoming census to see if this is a true trend in higher population or just a normal growth in registrations we see in Presidential cycles.

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Lysander is often seen as the most republican town.  While Cicero is larger in overall population, Lysander has a more dominant registration in terms of percentage.  This combined with a decent Conservative population, Lysander on its face may not give much hope for Democrats.  That may be changing though.

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It certainly was true in the past that the GOP dominated this town population wise.  However over the last 10 years Democratic registration has grown at a 3:1 pace over GOP registration closing the gap to just half of what it once was.  We see a similar growth in non-enrolled registration.  It is important to note that there seems to be a sharper decrease in GOP population since October of last year.  Whether that is a result of a national trend in GOP registration drops since the January 6th insurrection or normal fluctuations is hard to say at this juncture.  

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Republicans have dominated our significant six comparative races we have looked at.  In n2019 they swept the three races there handily.  This is one of the few spots where County Executive Ryan McMahon did worse than County Clerk Lisa Dell, but that can be chalked up to homecourt advantage since Lisa Dell was the Town Clerk for a long time.  In 2020 the GOP won congress and the NYS Senate race there handily as well.  There is one glimmer of hope.  President Biden won the Town of Lysander, despite the enrollment disadvantage.  This indicates a segment of infrequent non0enrolled voters who will reject more conservative Trumpian candidates when offered a real opportunity.

In the recent past the Democrats through a coalition of independents and former GOP members actually won control of the Lysander Town Board and Supervisor.  The hope for Democrats to win in Lysander does seem to rest on that model.  In Lysander this year Town Clerk, Town Justice, two Town Councilors, and Highway Superintendent are on the ballot.  Democrats hold their nominations by caucus.  If you are interested in getting involved contact Lysander chair Justin Neal at justinkn@hotmail.com and the Lysander Democratic Committee can be found at https://www.facebook.com/LysanderDems

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