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Former elections commissioner seeking legislature seat

For almost two decades, Ed Szczesniak enforced the laws pertaining to elections in Onondaga County.

Now, he's decided he'd rather be subject to them.

Szczesniak stepped down as Democratic Commissioner of Elections for the county last year and has decided to run for election to the county legislature because, he said, his district needs a change.

"My campaign slogan is all about three words: Experience plus leadership plus integrity equals change," Szczesniak said. "That really synopsizes my view on why I'm running for office. I have the experience to help people achieve their goals. I've shown leadership in taking steps, taking action to improve a situation. And I define integrity as doing the right thing even when no one's watching. When you put those together, you end up with change, which I think the people of this district are looking for."

Szczesniak is running for the third district county legislature seat against incumbent Bill Meyer, who is currently chairman of the legislature. The third district covers the town of Cicero and part of the town of Manlius.

Szczesniak is a lifelong Democrat who has long been active in the party, but he doesn't believe his political party is a priority.

"It's part of the process just to get on the ballot," he said. "But once you're elected, you're elected to represent all of the people, not just the people in your party. I think some people, especially some of our state senators, have forgotten that's why they're there."

Because he wants to represent all of the district's interests, Szczesniak has been going door-to-door, asking voters in the third district what issues concern them.

"It's not about what I think is important," he said. "It's about what their priorities are. You're elected to do what the people want, so I'm trying to get an understanding of what that is."

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