Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum didn't win the 24th Congressional District race, but she did register the best performance by a Green Party candidate in a Syracuse-area congressional race.
Rozum finished third behind Democratic candidate Dan Maffei — the winner of the race — and U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-Onondaga Hill. She received 21,463 votes, according to unofficial results from the district's four counties.
That's 1,000 votes better than Howie Hawkins' 2004 performance. Hawkins received 20,106 votes in the 25th Congressional District race against U.S. Rep. Jim Walsh, a Republican. Hawkins was Walsh's only opponent.
In an interview Friday, Rozum said she was one of the best performing Green Party congressional candidates in the country. She was polling at 7 or 8 percent before the election and ended up receiving 8 percent of the vote on Election Day.
"Even though I've been polling at eight percent, we were expecting my vote total to go down. Usually our votes drop. I was pleased that I actually got that eight percent," she said.
Rozum hopes her performance serves as a wake-up call for the local Democratic and Republican party organizations.
"There's a significant number of voters that are willing to vote against them. There's people opposed to everything from their inaction on the climate crisis to their willingness to accept the business-as-usual role of money in our political system," she said. "I hope that it sends that message to the major parties locally that neither of them have a monopoly on anyone's vote."
This was the first time Rozum ran for political office. She doesn't know if she will run again in the future, but she hopes her candidacy will motivate others to run for office.
"I hope that my experience can help other people run for office," she said. "I think it would help other people see themselves as potential candidates."
Thruway board meeting rescheduled; toll hike possible
The New York State Thruway Authority board was scheduled to meet Friday, but the meeting was rescheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 13.
Groups opposing a proposed 45 percent toll hike for commercial vehicles with three or more axles believe the board will decide whether or not they should implement the increase.
Unshackle Upstate Executive Director Brian Sampson, one of the toll hike's opponents, said the Thruway Authority should get its "fiscal house in order before they even consider adding to the burden of businesses and consumers."
"The postponement of the Thruway Authority board meeting doesn't change the fact that they're still considering an irresponsible toll hike," Sampson said in a statement. "Until we hear otherwise, there's no good news to be had."