Welcome back to the #WeeklyWonk. Each weekend I release an article on a subject relating to elections in Onondaga County and New York State. Often these articles will have detailed stats to consume but sometimes they will be a recap of a prominent issue or on relevant election law. I am turning my eye to the 2023 elections. This week I take a break from looking at the political subdivisions and focus on a work item from the Onondaga County Board of elections. Today I look at the Town of Lysander who will have competitive races this fall
The Town of Lysander sits in the Northwestern most point of our county and is seen as one of the more GOP leaning towns. The Town of Lysander has 17,561 voters. The Town of Lysander partisan breakdown shows a strong GOP lean. The GOP has 6438 37%) of the active registered voters, 5114 (37%) are registered Democrats, and in third place 4772 (27%) are registered non-enrolled. While a strong GOP plurality, Democrats are ahead of non-enrolled which indicates they have a fighting chance in this town. I have split the Town into 5 different distinct regions (Center, East, South, Village, and West. The Center are the eds from north of the village of Baldwinsville to the Oswego border and have 20% of the voters. The East are smaller denser eds bordering the town of Clay and have 23% of the voters. South are a set of eds in the southeastern corner of Lysander between Clay and Van Buren and touching Salina and has 24% of the voters. The village section is the northern half of the village of Baldwinsville that is part in Lysander and part of Van Bure with 19% of the voters. The West are the western most rural Eds that have 14% of the voters.
In a new feature I am bringing to the #weeklywonk this year I am doing a heat map for each political subdivision. I will be looking at the current partisan makeup of each individual ED and heat mapping its partisan lean based on the advantage for the Democrats and GOP. Lysander is a GOP town but there are eds where Democrats do have some advantage. The rural eds in the western part of the district are heavily GOP but as we move east it gets a little better. There are just 4 eds with actual Democratic advantage, we have slight leans in EDS 8,13,14, and a major advantage in ED 17. The other EDS have a variety of GOP advantages with slight leans in EDS 6,7, & 18, standard advantages eds 4,11, & 12, substantial advantage in eds 5,9, & 16, major advantages in eds 2 & 3, and overwhelming advantages in eds 1 & 15.
The Democrats in the Town of Lysander as well as the non-enrolled are making significant in-roads into the GOP plurality. This is partly due to a reaction to Trump in 2016 as we saw in other communities but really an ongoing process as the town grows. Since 2009 Democrats have gained 1261 voters. The Non-enrolled has grown the most with 1351 voters. The GOP has grown as well since 2009, but at a smaller rate gaining just 447 voters. This means the Democrats and non-enrolled have gained at 3 times the rate as the GOP.
When we look at the partisan breakdowns in the regions, despite the g=inroads Democrats have made, they do not have a plurality in any of the regions. The closest they are to the GOP are in the village section where they only slightly trail the GOP. They are also faring well in the Center and eastern portions of the district, as they are behind the GOP but just by a little more than the Village portion. In the southern and western portion not only do the Democrats trail the GOP, badly, they are also in 3rd place to the non-enrolled.
Looking at the growth of voters since the last redistricting cycle, 2012, we see that the regions are all growing, but at a different rate. The southern portion or Lysander is growing at twice the rate of the other regions gaining 1091 voters. The Center, East, and Village regions are all growing at a moderate pace. The Center grew by 599 voters. The East grew by 575 voters. And the Lysander portion of the Village of Baldwinsville grew by 554 voters. The rural western portion of Lysander grew the least gaining just 350 voters.
As noted, Democrats have been gaining and we can see that Democrats since 2012 have gained in every region. When we look at the partisan divide Democrats have closed the gap most aggressively in the East, gaining 9.74%. The South, despite being the most dominant GOP region, Democrats have grown as the region grows gaining 8.04%. The Village portion of Lysander has seen Democratic gains of 6.09%. The Center portion also saw modest Democratic gains of 5.38%. The Western portion Democrats have only made small gains, 1.44%.
When we look at the comparative races, we see a Town that solidly votes GOP in November with few exceptions. In the 2022 Governor’s Race the Town of Lysander voted for Governor Hochul’s opponent Lee Zeldin with 53.33% of the vote, 7.25% less than the rest of Onondaga County. In 2021 the town of Lysander voted for the GOP candidate by 60.39%, 12.91% less than Onondaga County as a whole. The only Democratic win was President Biden, carrying Lysander with just 50.53% of the vote, which was 8.35% than his countywide results. Lisa Dell, the GOP candidate for County Clerk, was able to win largely because of her performance in Lysander, where she was Town Clerk, with 67.75% in the 2019 County Clerk race, 15.49% more than the countywide results. The last local race of note was the Supervisor race in 2019. While the GOP candidate won the race, they only managed to get 48.01% f the vote in a 3-way race. The Democrat was second with 26.99% and the independent was third with 25.00% of the voter.
In 2023 the Lysander Town Democrats are currently passing petitions to challenge the supervisor race again. Kevin Rode was the Democrat who came in second in 2019 and subsequently won a seat on the Town Board is looking to challenge the supervisor again, this time one on one and he has the Conservative party endorsement. William Stowell is running for Town Board on the Democratic line and Ken Christopher is for Town Justice. It is noted in the past the Democrats had a coalition of GOP and Democratic voters gave them control of the Town Board and Supervisor before losing it in a caucus snafu in 2013. Past results show it is possible to form such a coalition, specially if turnout can be boosted, to achieve victory. Contact Vicky Freylue the Lysander Democratic Chair if you want to help at firstname.lastname@example.org or find them on Facebook here.
That is, it for this week’s edition of the #WeeklyWonk. Next week I will dive into the Town of Manlius, one of the Democratic superstars of the last few election cycles, As always go to dustinczarny.com and subscribe to get all your content and election news updates. I run that website, along with these series of articles, as part of my voter education. I never take ad money or charge subscriptions paying for the site with my own personal funds. Subscribe here.