Wonky Wednesday:  The Town of Tully


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 investigate the Town of Tully.

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The Town of Tully sits in the middle of the Southern border of our County.  It is a small mostly agrarian town, but it does have a small urban center located in the village of Tully.  It is wholly inside the 12th Onondaga County legislative district, currently held by chairman of the County Legislature, David Knapp.  It does have 3 Election Districts that divides the town.

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Tully is one of the smaller towns, but it sits in the middle of what is considered the agrarian towns of Onondaga County.  The voter registration numbers have been remarkably stable over the last 12 years.  There was a gradual decline in voter registration from 2009 to 2015.  The 2016 presidential election saw an increase of registrations which was maintained until another jump in registration in 2020. Notably the registrations seem to be increasing in 2021 as well.

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The current registration of the Town of Tully shows a solid GOP town.  Republicans make up 38% of the town with Democrats at 28%.  Non-enrolled (BLK) voters’ makeup 27% of the town.  Tully has just three election districts.  The 1st Election District contains the village of Tully.  The 2nd Election district has the northeastern corner of the town, and the 3rd is the southwestern portion of the town.

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There are some interesting things going on in this small town. We see a plateauing of the GOP registrations over the last 12 years.  While the GOP still has a large plurality, the Democrats have steadily gained since 2015. They went from being outnumbered by the non-enrolled to overtaking them.  Right now, non-enrolled voters have not changed much since 2009and in fact dropped a bit a few years ago before rebounding.

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The three Election Districts in Tully do not really have much difference in partisan enrollment.  Democrats are outnumbered in all three districts, though not as much in the village of Tully.  It is notable the village of Tully has had a Democratic mayor and will again this year as the Democrat running is running unopposed.  Though it is also notable the village does not run-on traditional party lines despite being a November election,

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The significant six races provide some evidence that Tully may be seeing some opportunities.  In 2019 Tully behaved like many rural towns and voted for the County Executive, Comptroller, and Clerk candidates by double digits.  However, in 2020, Biden squeaked out a win in this town and Senator Rachel May was able to escape with just single digit losses here.  This could mean that we see the new enrolled voters that appeared in 2020 are more Democratic leaning even in the non-enrolled.  If that is the case it will be an opportunity of those voters participate in local years.

The Town of Tully Democrats nominate candidates by caucus.  The town clerk, town justice, and two town councilors are up for election in 2021.  If you are interested in getting involved contact Tully Town Democratic Chair Elizabeth Weinstein by emailing her at elizabethsweinstein@gmail.com

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