UTICA, NY-- Many races throughout Oneida County went uncontested on election day, and according to some local officials, it's bad for local democracy.
For the Oneida County Legislative races, 14 out of 23 candidates had no opponents.
"Without a doubt we get complacency and the electorate and when I mean by that is the lack of challenges, we get the same incumbents every year," said George Joseph, Oneida County legislator R-10, majority leader. "We don't really get a lot of excitement from from the public willing to step up. What's unique about the Board of Legislators is it's truly the citizen legislatory, which means anybody from any walk of life can step up and do the job."
Bill Thickstun, chair of the Oneida County Democratic Committee, said the committee works with new candidates providing some training and financial support for their campaigns.
"How you go to door-to-door, how you find the people who sell signs and design signs, how you develop a palm card to leave with voters, the kind of things that first time candidates would be unfamiliar with," Thickstun said.
Joseph added that with the raise going from $8,368 to $16,000, could attract more candidates next election season.
"Hopefully we're going to have people step up recognize that it's a worthy goal and they're compensated for what they give up," he said. "My prediction is that the next election you're going to see twice the candidates and I hope it works out that way."
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