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Congress member John Katko from Upstate New York is the first republican to say he’ll back the impeachment effort against Donald Trump by the House.  The attack on the Capitol led the former federal prosecutor to reverse support for the President.

Katko said in a release that as a prosecutor, he looked at the facts and couldn’t ignore President Trump’s role in the January 6th attack. 

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Reactions to the storming of the U.S. Capitol building by a large number of President Trump supporters Wednesday sparked some strong reactions from New York's Congressional delegation and political experts in Central New York. Among them was Rep. John Katko who issued this statement just after 5:00 p.m:

"I am grateful to all of those who have reached out regarding my safety today.  The support and concern expressed is humbling. I am in a safe location.

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A Syracuse common councilor announced his bid to run for Mayor Tuesday. Democrat Michael Greene made his campaign launch in an admittedly uncommon location. 

Mannion, Stirpe Declare Victories in NY Senate, Assembly Races

Dec 1, 2020
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The results of two undetermined State Senate and Assembly races are clear enough for Democrats to declare victory. Onondaga County is just about finished counting absentee ballots after a two-week delay. Assemblymember Al Stirpe will represent the 127th District for a seventh time after defeating the GOP’s Mark Venesky by more than 6,100 votes. 

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The former Director of the National Securities Studies Program at SU’s Maxwell School says President Trump not conceding to Joe Biden and a continuation of a delayed transition to power can create an international security threat to the US. Bill Smullen says a poll last year revealed that only one-third of Europeans surveyed thought America was headed in the right direction and they trusted the US as an ally. 

Smullen believes President-elect Joe Biden will mend these frayed alliances, but says he won’t be able to do so until President Trump concedes.

Biden has not been able to begin the process to transition, which hinders his ability to prepare for his new position.

“Joe Biden can’t even have access to intelligence until Trump concedes. So, we’re in kind of a holding period here and this is not helpful; and the victims of this are you and I, the American people,“ Smullen said.

Part of the transition process includes filling critical positions in Biden’s new administration and cabinet, but he’s not allowed to make appointments until Trump concedes.  Smullen says Trump has been recently displaying his unrestricted power

“Trump has unrestricted, unconditional power in these last 70 days to do things that are not very helpful and one of them was when he essentially fired the senior leadership in the Department of Defense.”

Smullen also worries of the uncertainty America will be in as the country’s vulnerabilities are exposed to foreign nations, including countries with which America is not allies.

“This would be a very opportune time for any one of them to take a run at the United States in any way they would want to. They’re not going to attack the United States, but they can do things to make life very uncomfortable for America.”

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Central New York political science professors are weighing in on what might happen over the several remaining weeks of President Trump’s time in office. Syracuse University professor Shana Gadarian says while a new COVID relief package might be prioritized, New Yorkers shouldn’t expect results.

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Election results in the Central New York area mirror those nationwide … some paint a clear picture while others remain blurred.  Voters cast their ballots for congressional candidates, as well as those for state senate and assembly seats, and other local officials. 

(Onondaga County Vote Totals click here)

How Could the 2020 Election Reshape Elections in the Future?

Nov 2, 2020

This election year has already been unlike any other due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At least ninety-five million Americans have voted before Election Day thanks to early voting and mail-in ballots; which makes up more than two-thirds of the total voter turnout for the 2016 presidential election. Deputy Director for League of Women Voters in New York State, Jennifer Wilson, says this large turnout before the election shows how useful early voting can be.

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 Candidates used the weekend to make final pitches to voters, including in the close contest in the 24th congressional district.  WAER's James Corrigan reports both candidates took to the streets and believe they've made their case before election wraps up Tuesday.  

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  If you’re surprised about the popularity of early voting in Onondaga County, you’re not alone.  Elections commissioners we spoke with today sounded amazed themselves that more than 40,000 people have already used that option to cast their ballots.  And GOP Commissioner Michelle Sardo expects that crowds to continue this weekend toward record overall turnout.