Welcome back to #WeeklyWonk. Each weekend I publish 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 and the political subdivision having races. Today I investigate the Town of Dewitt, the most Democratic Town in Onondaga County.
The Town of Dewitt sits on the Eastern suburbs of the City of Syracuse. Its long western border makes it the Town that shares the longest border with Syracuse. This in part leads to its overwhelmingly blue nature. The makeup of Dewitt is 40% Democrat (7,116 Voters), 25% GOP (4,333 Voters), and 29% non-Enrolled (5,113 voters). This enrollment is the most Democratic of anyplace outside the City of Syracuse. Dewitt elects all their representative’s town wide and not by wards. So, I have carved up Clay into 5 different regions, North 3,679 voters (21%), Center 3,591 voters (20%), West 3,582 voters (20%), South 3,331 voters (19%), and East 3,457 voters (20%).
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. Dewitt is so Democratic only 1 Ed, ED 12 has a GOP lean (between 5-10%). Four more eds, 1,8, 17, & 20, have a borderline (0-5%) Democratic Lean. Eds 4, 13, 15, & 19 have a slight (5-10%) Democratic lean. Eds 6, 7, 9, & 25 have moderate (10-15%) Democratic lean. Eds 10, 21 & 23 have strong (15-20%) Democratic lean. The largest collection of eds, 2, 3, 5, 14, 16, 18, 22 & 24 have overwhelming (+20%) Democratic lean. Theis the largest collection of Overwhelming Democratic eds outside the City of Syracuse.
Since 2009 The Town of Dewitt went from a Town with a Democratic lean to an overwhelmingly Democratic plurality. Democrats have gained 1,165 voters while the GOP lost 1,068 voters. The Non-enrolled has seen a large gain as well of 1,012 voters filling the void left by the GOP. This is the driving factor in the polarization of Dewitt. This is like other suburban towns but a little more exaggerated. Since 2020 though it is noticeable that Democrats have plateaued, losing a little. The GOP has also slowed its loss. The Non-enrolled though continues to gain. It will be worth looking at this town again after the 2024 election of we see any changes to this recent turn.
The regions are mostly reflective of the blue nature of the overall registration. The center region of Dewitt looks a great deal like a city ward with Democrats having a 31.63% Democratic advantage. This is followed by the western region that has a +19.43%. These two regions border the eastern borders of Syracuse which is some of the more Democratic in the county. This is what is leading to Dewitt’s overwhelming blue nature. The Eastern region which borders the other blue town of Manlius has a 13.77% Democratic advantage. All three of these regions the non-enrolled outnumber the GOP. The northern (+7.31% Dem advantage) and the Southern (+6.18% dem advantage) looks more like other suburban regions throughout Onondaga County.
Looking at the growth of voters since the last redistricting cycle we compare it with date from May 2012. The Town of Dewitt grew by 1,807 active voters. The biggest growth is in the western region which gained by 538 voters. The southern region which borders Lafayette and Pompey had the second highest growth of 410 voters. The Eastern region bordering Manlius is a close 3rd at 344 voters. The Center region grew at a similar rate by 303 voters. The least growth has come in northern region with only 212 voters.
The Town of Dewitt Democratic advantage has grown by 11.10% since 2012, outpacing Onondaga County overall. In 2012 every region was Democratic; however, all regions grew in Democratic advantage over the last 10 years. The largest growth has been in the western region with Democrats gaining by 16.90%. The center region democratic advantage grew by 12.05%. The southern region Democratic advantage grew by 11.80%. The eastern region grew the least by just 9.68%. The Northern region grew by just 5.52%.
When we look at the comparative races, we see why Democrats are dominating just about every Town race and Democrats performed better in Dewitt than anywhere outside of Syracuse. In 2019 Dan Kolinski for County Clerk garnered 54.70% of the vote, 9.97% ahead of his Onondaga County rate. President Biden in 2020 64.86% of the vote, 5.98% ahead of his Onondaga rate. In 2021 Anthony Brindisi for Supreme Court garnered 59.50% of the vote, 8.76% behind his GOP rate. In 2022 Governor Hochul garnered 60,78% of the vote, 7.00% ahead of her Onondaga County rate. This has led the GOP to shy away from running in town wide races here and carve it up in County legislative races. In the last head-to-head local race was Town Justice in 2021, the Democrats won it by 16.14%.
In 2023 the Dewitt Town Democrats will look to fill candidates for Supervisor, Clerk, Town Justices, 3 Town Board members and Highway superintendent. The Town of Dewitt Democrats fill their candidates by caucus. The Caucus has not yet been scheduled but can be anytime between now and July 27, 2023. If you are interested in running for any of these offices or want to help the Clay Democrats contact their chairperson Linda Ervin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That is, it for this week’s edition of the #WeeklyWonk. Next week I take a break from the Towns of Onondaga County and look at the village of Liverpool. They held their first Democratic caucus in 20 years last week and will be running a full slate of Democratic candidates in the June election. 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.