GOP candidate declares victory in Cortland mayoral race

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Republican Candidate Scott Steve on election night. (Phoebe Taylor-Vuolo/WSKG)

CORTLAND, NY (WSKG) — Republican candidate Scott Steve declared victory in Cortland’s mayoral race Tuesday night. He leads Democrat Bruce Tytler by just over 200 votes.

Steve and Tytler entered the race after current mayor Brian Tobin announced in February that he wouldn’t be running again. Tobin, a Democrat, served for five terms.

On Tuesday night, Steve won 54% of the vote, compared to Tytler’s 45%.

Steve, a local developer and business owner, argued throughout his run that Cortland’s government needs more transparency. He said he’s hoping to provide that as mayor.

“You know, accountability and being transparent about everything is really important, and I think that’s what they expect, and I hope they hold me to a higher standard than everybody else,” Steve said.

He also campaigned on tax issues, arguing that the county’s taxes are too high to keep residents in Cortland. Infrastructure was another big issue in the race. Both candidates agreed on the importance of infrastructure, but debated how the city should go about improving it.

Tytler was Cortland’s mayor back in 2000, and represents the third ward on the city council. He said in the end, he feels he ran a good campaign, and said residents voted on important, local issues when they went to the polls.

The race was close and Democrats say they’re waiting until all the absentee ballots are counted.