Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State senate race still unknown but some local candidates starting election 2023

A man stands at a podium in a parking lot with a crowd behind him.
Karl Winter
Khristopher Dodson announces his candidates for Syracuse Common Council's Third District in Barry Park, Dec. 10, 2022.

The Onondaga County Board of Elections website has yet to list filing dates for the 2023 elections — but some candidates are getting the ball rolling.

Khristopher Dodson said he's running for the Syracuse Common Council's newly redrawn Third District, which covers the city's southeastern communities. Dodson said he's running to represent the area in next year's election because he feels connected to its neighborhood.

"You'd have to drag me away from this neighborhood kicking and screaming," Dodson said.

Dodson's candidacy announcement comes while there's still an undecided race from this year's election. A judge this week is expected to review the final ballots that would decide the 50th Senate District race between incumbent John Mannion, a Democrat, and Republican Rebecca Shiroff.

But Dodson said he announced his candidacy on Saturday in light of the county Democratic committee's deadlines for next year's election.

"In order to get the designation of the Democratic committee, I've got to send a letter in by Jan. 5, which really, to me, today feels like only next week, right, with the holiday coming up and all those things," said Dodson, who launched his campaign at Barry Park with his husband and two sons.

The former president of the University Neighborhood Preservation Association said he was encouraged to run after the recent process of redistricting—when officials reassess the boundaries of voting district based on population changes in the latest census.

Both the new and previous version of district three included his neighborhood of Outer Comstock. But he said the updated map added other communities he identifies with.

"Once the redistricting happened, I figured this is the time; it's time to do it now," Dodson said. "Because the new Common Council, district three includes my neighborhood, the greater university neighborhood, Salt Springs, all of the places that I've lived, all the people that I know and interact with on a daily basis."

Syracuse Common Councilor Chol Majok currently represents the Third District and offered support at Dodson’s announcement Saturday. Majok lost a bid for Congress during the primary but said he isn’t sure about plans to run for re-election to council.

“Khris is a neighborhood guy — and being a District Councillor is being a neighborhood guy, and that's why I'm here to support him," Majok said. "Syracuse would be lucky to have him as a representative."

Dodson was not the only Outer Comstock resident to kick off a campaign last week. Maurice Brown also announced on social media that he would run for Onondaga County Legislature.

">December 7, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Karl Winter is a graduate student studying broadcast and digital journalism at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications, expected to graduate in May 2023. As a multimedia reporter, Karl helps produce audio and digital content for WAER. Karl moved to Syracuse from Stockton, California, and attended undergraduate college at Pepperdine University in Malibu.