The five different wards of Ithaca's Common Council. (Sabrina Xie / Sun Design Editor).

November 5, 2019

Tompkins County 2019 General Elections Re-Elect Host of Incumbents, No Write-Ins

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After the polling booths closed all over Tompkins County at 9 p.m., the votes were tallied and the victors were announced for the 2019 general elections of Tompkins County. Among this year’s winners were several incumbents who were projected to win re-election for seats as mayor, city council alderpersons, town board members, a supervisor and state supreme court justices.

Mayoral Race

Two-time incumbent Svante Myrick (D) has won his third term as Mayor of Ithaca since he first ran in 2011, beating out his challenger Adam Levine with 77.69% of the votes to Levine’s 21.67%. 0.64% of voters chose to write in a candidate.

Myrick won the prior election with 89%.

Common Council

Incumbent alderpersons were able to retain their seats in all five of Ithaca’s wards.

  • 1st Ward: Alderperson George McGonigal (D-1st Ward) won re-election for another term in his seat on the Common Council after running unopposed, with 96.15% of the votes.
  • 2nd Ward: Alderperson Ducson Nguyen (D-2nd Ward) ran unopposed and won with 99.54% of the votes. 0.46% of voters chose to write-in a candidate.
  • 3rd Ward: Incumbent Rob Gearhart (D-3rd Ward) ran unopposed on the ticket and won with 81.48% of the votes, defeating write-in candidate Ellie Pfeffer ’23. Write-in votes in the 3rd Ward totaled 18.53% of votes.
  • 4th Ward: Stephen J. Smith (D-4th Ward) ran unopposed on the ticket, winning with 89.34% of votes, defeating write-in candidate Thea Kozakis grad, a Ph.D. student at Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute. Write-in candidates garnered a total of 10.66% of the votes in the 4th Ward.
  • 5th Ward: Incumbent Laura Lewis (D-5th Ward) was able to retain her seat, winning the seat with 91.67% of the votes as a candidate running unopposed on the ticket. Write-in candidates received 8.33% of the votes, among them Cheyenne Carter, a senior at Ithaca College majoring in environmental studies.

Town Board Members

Both incumbent town board members, Eric Levine (D) and Pamela Bleiwas ’87 (D), were re-elected to the town board after receiving 32.85% and 34.16% of the votes, respectively. Bill Goodman, who has been the Ithaca Town Supervisor since 2015 and previously served as a member of the Ithaca town board, joins Levine and Bleiwas as the third board member this election cycle, with 32.41% of the votes. Only 0.57% of voters chose to write-in a candidate.


Rod Howe (D) ran unopposed and won with 99.30% of the votes, with only 0.70% of voters writing in a candidate. Having won the race for Town Supervisor, he will step down from his current roles as executive director of the History Center of Tompkins County and deputy supervisor of the Town Board.

County Court Judge

Scott Miller ’90 J.D. ’95 ran unopposed with 99.35% of the votes, with 0.65% of voters voting for a write-in candidate. Currently the senior presiding judge of the Ithaca City Court, Miller has served since 2013.

State Supreme Court Justices

Pete Charnetsky (D) and Claudette Y. Newman (D) were elected to the State Supreme Court with 28.14% and 30.36% of the votes, respectively, defeating three opposing Republican candidates.