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Esteban Gonzalez won't concede Onondaga County sheriff's race until all votes are counted

A banner for Esteban Gonzalez for Onondaga County Sheriff. June 6, 2022.
Esteban Gonzalez for Onondaga County Sheriff
A banner for Esteban Gonzalez for Onondaga County Sheriff. June 6, 2022.

The race for Onondaga County’s next sheriff hasn’t ended yet. Republican candidate Esteban Gonzalez said Tuesday night he would wait until every vote is countedbefore conceding, citing the close margin. Gonzalez hopes that the uncounted votes will tip the race in his favor.

“We’re hoping that it actually flips our way because it is remarkably too close to call right now and our hope is that we get more than the 66% of the remaining 6,100 votes that are out there,” Gonzalez said.

There are absentee ballots in Onondaga County that have not yet been counted or processed. Late Tuesday night, Democratic candidate Toby Shelley declared victory at his own separate party but was not available for interviews. Gonzalez says the stakes of this race are too high to concede just yet.

“We’re patient. We worked hard. We owe too much to too many people to call it, and we’re not going to call it. We’re excited about the possibilities that are still out there, and we’re going to wait until this process is finished,” Gonzalez said.

The approximately 6,000 uncounted votes include absentee and affidavit ballots. Gonzalez and Shelley are seeking the sheriff’s seat upon the retirement of Gene Conway at the end of his term.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at