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Onondaga County Executive McMahon says victory is a "mandate" from voters

A man in a blue suit and and blue and red striped tie looks at reporters in the foreground in a crowded room.
Theo Stewart II
Ryan McMahon chats with reporters after his victory speech Nov. 8, 2023.

Onondaga County Ryan McMahon is preparing for a second term in office after a majority of Onondaga County voters supported him in Tuesday's election. He cruised to victory over Democratic challenger Bill Kinne by a margin of 61 to 38 percent. In his victory speech, he thanked voters for delivering a mandate for the next four years.

“It's a mandate to change the psychology of a community to believe that we are worthy of good things," McMahon said, "To believe that we can compete not just in this country, but throughout North America and throughout the world, that we are good enough to compete with communities that are larger than us because we have competed and we have won.”

McMahon is clearly referring to landing Micron’s commitment to build a massive semi-conductor manufacturing facility in Clay. He also called his re-election a mandate to address everything from opioid addiction and lead paint, to revitalizing and building new neighborhoods and business districts.

McMahon says he hopes to earn the support of the nearly four in ten voters who cast their ballots for Kinne. In the end, he says, we’re all Onondaga County residents.

“We all share the same goals. We're a community that wants to take care of our vulnerable," McMahon said. "We're a community that has unprecedented economic opportunity at our doorstop and we need to make sure that every corner of this community feels that they're part of that.”

Opponent Bill Kinne didn’t necessarily share some of McMahon’s goals or priorities. During the campaign, he continued to question the viability of a taxpayer-funded aquarium, and expressed frustration at the lack of transparency within McMahon’s administration. He also says many Republican voters told him they voted for him.

 “Obviously there’s people out there that are not happy with this county executive," Kinne said. "There’s more than just the aquarium in my eyes. I question his cronyism, his character. Let the voters ultimately decide. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”

Kinne says he wanted to give voters a choice so McMahon wouldn’t run uncontested, but says he ultimately reached more voters than him.

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