ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Ithaca residents have a choice between two candidates for mayor in today’s election. But they are a Democrat and a Progressive.
That is no surprise to Mike Sigler, who chairs the Tompkins County Republican Party and is a member of the county legislature.
Sigler says the GOP has made a genuine effort to elect Republican candidates to city offices. There just are not many registered Republicans living in the City of Ithaca, he said.
“Until we can get more people on board the Republican Party you’re probably not going to see a strong resurgence,” he said. “I mean, maybe we can win a seat if we found somebody that’s very popular.”
As an example, Sigler mentioned the Town of Caroline where there’s a strong Republican candidate who appeals to people across the political spectrum, and who is a long time resident.
Sigler thinks there’s another practical reason there are not more Republicans in Ithaca.
People are leaving Ithaca for a better quality of life.
“People who are worrying about affordable housing can’t live in the City of Ithaca so they’re not voting in Ithaca,” Sigler said. “So, that’s not really the main issue for the people that live there.”
Sigler sees middle or working class voters are leaving Ithaca for communities like Lansing. The community just north of Ithaca is where Sigler has his home.