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GOP's Brandon Williams and democrat Francis Conole emerge victorious in NY-22 congressional primary

Courtesy NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment

The results are in from the republican and democratic primaries for the new 22nd congressional district.  It looks like republican Brandon Williams and democrat Francis Conole will be facing off in the general election.

The victory by political newcomer Brandon Williams on the GOP side probably comes as the biggest surprise. He upset longtime party establishment favorite Steve wells 57 to 52 percent evenly across the district, which includes all of Onondaga, Oneida, and Madison counties, as well as a small corner of Oswego County.

In a statement, Wells congratulated his opponent.

"I got in this race because I believe Biden's failed policies are devastating Central New York. I still do. I wish Brandon the best as he works to help Republicans retake the House and stop Biden's failed agenda." 

Williams is a former tech executive from Silicon Valley who is also relatively new to the area, settling in Cayuga County, outside of the district, just three years ago.

He’ll take on likely democratic nominee Francis Conole, who emerged victorious in a four-way contest. In a release, Conole was already trying to draw a contrast with his likely opponent, whom he called "extreme" and "out of touch." Conole says he's a lifelong Central New Yorker who has spent his life serving this country in the Navy.

"Central New Yorkers are so tired of the chaos, extremism, and division in this country. We want common sense, and we want our neighbors back. We don’t want tax codes that sell out the Middle Class or extreme abortion bans. We began this campaign with a simple message: that especially now - as our country and community face a multitude of crises, we need serious representation and serious leadership to meet this moment."

It was still a somewhat narrow victory for the party’s designee, beating out his closest competitor Sarah Klee Hood 39 to 36 percent. Remaining absentee ballots are unlikely to close the gap, but we’ll know more by Thursday.

Sam Roberts and Chol Majok finished with 13 and 12 percent respectively.

The field of democratic candidates was one of the most diverse in decades. But ironically, Conole is the only one of the four who has not held political office. In 2020, he lost in a bruising primary to Dana Balter, who ultimately lost to incumbent John Katko. He chose not to seek a 5th term, which created the wide open seat.

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