Central New York, Politics, Syracuse

McMahon Looks to Unify as Onondaga County Executive

As Ryan McMahon prepares for his new role as Onondaga County Executive, he looks back on his time in the county legislature. (c) 2018 Ally Heath

Ryan McMahon voted Mahoney's Replacement, to be sworn in by November 1st

Video Transcript can be found here.

By Ally Heath SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Ryan McMahon is not known to back down from an opportunity.

Back in 2012, McMahon challenged seasoned politicians for the Chairman’s seat before he was even sworn in to the Onondaga County Legislature. Last week, he made another political move, this time for the County Executive’s office.

When Joanie Mahoney announced she was stepping down to take over an advisory role at SUNY-ESF and SUNY-Upstate, McMahon knew he wanted to take his shot at reuniting a divided Republican party in Onondaga County.

Mahoney leaves office with little support from the Republican Party, her own party, because of disagreements with party leadership in the county. To some legislators, the disconnect slowed progress in the government.

In the eyes of Republican Legislator Kevin Holmquist, McMahon’s ability to respect outside opinions helps him in unifying people who would traditionally be at a standstill.

“The taxpayers want their representatives to work together, and we’ve always work well together, we work well with the municipalities,” said Holmquist. “I think that Ryan McMahon will close the loop nicely and we as a community will work well together.”

But beyond his party, McMahon wanted to take his work towards making bipartisan cooperation in the County Legislature the norm on a bigger stage.

At the start of his time in the legislature, the furniture was pushed to opposite sides of the room, showing distinct party lines, noted Democratic Legislator Christopher Ryan, even without an active session.

But as he prepares to leave the legislature, he says the bipartisan progress made in the last year is miles ahead of what he could have dreamed of  in 2012. Even the desks are closer together now.

“The potential of  ‘we’ moving forward understands that as a region and as a county, we are truly in this together,” said McMahon.