The Primary is the Election

From the May/June 2019 PNL #866

by Annabel Hine Otts and Elaine Denton

PDF Version

In Central New York and across the county, political candidates from communities most impacted by inequality and racism are stepping up, running for office, and winning. These are candidates who can champion the voices and needs of those suffering under the status quo.

Locally, we’ve seen the incredible power our community can put behind candidates, and we’ve celebrated some big wins in our midterm election. Now we must get back to work and actively support these candidates as they run for office. We can’t vote for change if we don’t help the change makers canvass, fundraise, and get people out to vote in the primary.

Party designees and incumbents have resources other candidates don't, including teams of people to walk neighborhoods. This puts many of our progressive candidates at an immediate disadvantage, as they do not automatically have the same support and infrastructure. If you support fair elections and a robust primary accessible to all people who want to run, volunteer for candidates you support, and bring your friends!

In Central New York, where registered Democrats far outnumber Republicans (4 to 1 in the City of Syracuse, and by 25% in Onondaga County), primary elections afford us the opportunity to hash out nuances between candidates—and support the best progressive policies. Voters are much more likely to vote party line in the November election.

Primary season 2019 is a potential game changer for Central New York, as our movement produces an ever-increasing number of progressive local candidates.

We have compiled some information to encourage you to take action. For more details visit

Important Dates:

Friday, May 31: Last day to postmark an application or
register in person to be eligible to vote in the primary.

You must be registered in a party to vote in a primary election
in NYS. If you are not registered in a party, you can still help
canddidates by donating and volunteering your time.

Tuesday, June 25: Primary election. Polls open 12pm - 9pm.

Annabel Hine Otts and Elaine Denton are members of the CNY Solidarity Coalition.