Voters in Syracuse's 5th common council district decide to keep Jimmy Monto
The results of three Central New York races remain inconclusive after last night’s final tallies. Absentee and affidavit ballots will determine the outcomes of the following races: 22nd congressional district between Democrat Francis Conole and Republican Brandon Williams; 50th Senate District between incumbent Democrat John Mannion and challenger Rebecca Shiroff; and Onondaga County Sheriff between Democrat Toby Shelley and Republican Esteban Gonzalez. It could be at least a week before the final results are known.
Meanwhile, one of the lesser contested races was for the Syracuse Common Council’s 5th district. Jimmy Monto cruised to victory over Republican Woody Carroll 74% to 25%. Monto was appointed to fill a vacancy in August, and will have to run again next year to keep the seat. He said the council feels like a natural next step.
"I didn't just wake up one morning and decide to run for office," Monto said. "I have been a community advocate for several years in several different positions. My goal is to help the neighborhoods. It was my focus before I was elected, before I ever decided to ever run for office. It will remain that, the neighborhoods becoming stronger is what I care about."
Monto also becomes the first openly LGBTQ person elected citywide, something he doesn’t take lightly.
"I am excited by that, but it bears a certain responsibility," Monto said. "I feel responsible to make sure those kids who are bullied now that don't make it out know that the possibilities are. I was one of those kids. My husband was one of those kids. We are 48 and 43 years old. Rewind 30 years, and things were different. They're better now, but they're not perfect."
Looking ahead, Monto said he and the council need to be ready to address a number of emerging and ongoing challenges.
"We have quite possibly a housing crisis in front of us," Monto said. "We have a transportation problem, we know that. We have upticks in crime in places in the city that need to be taken care of. We can fix those if we work together."
Monto said he’ll certainly act in the best interest of his council district, but also bears responsibility for the entire city.