Joanie Mahoney

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Joanie Mahoney
3rd Executive of Onondaga County, New York
Assumed office
January 1, 2008
Preceded by Nicholas J. Pirro
Personal details
Born 1965
Rochester, NY
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Marc Overdyk
Alma mater Syracuse University
Profession attorney

Joanne M. "Joanie" Mahoney (born 1965) is the County Executive of Onondaga County, New York. She is the first woman to hold this position. She took office on Tuesday, January 1, 2008.


Mahoney was raised in Syracuse, New York, as the middle child of nine children.[1] Her father, Bernie Mahoney, was a member of the Syracuse Common Council and then the New York State Assembly.[1]

Mahoney attended Shea Middle School and Corcoran High School in Syracuse, then received her undergraduate degree from the Management School at Syracuse University. Upon completing her undergraduate degree, Mahoney received her law degree from the Syracuse University College of Law.[2]

She is married to Marc Overdyk and has four children.[3]

Career and political experience[edit]

An attorney by trade, Mahoney previously served as Criminal Prosecutor in the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office. She left work in 1997 to become a full-time stay-at-home mother, but decided to run to serve part-time on the Syracuse Common Council.[3] She won election to the Syracuse Common Council in November 1999 and served from 2000 until 2002.[2]

She decided against running for re-election, choosing to spend more time with her children and focus on her newborn son. In 2005, she announced she would seek the office of Mayor of Syracuse, challenging incumbent Matthew Driscoll, a Democrat. She ultimately lost to Driscoll 49% to 46%, with Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins receiving 5% of the vote.[4] It was the closest mayoral race in over 80 years for Syracuse.[5]

After Mahoney's victory in the 2007 County Executive race, she was inaugurated on January 1, 2008.

County Executive election, 2007[edit]

In February 2007, long-time incumbent County Executive Nicholas J. Pirro announced his retirement. Mahoney decided to run, but failed to win the endorsement of the Onondaga County Republican Party, this was because she endorsed Democrats for statewide positions and still does. The republicans then endorsed Dale Sweetland, Chairman of the County Legislature.[5]

Mahoney then decided to seek the Republican nomination in a party primary held on September 18, 2007. In the primary, she edged out Sweetland by only 21 votes.[5] However, Sweetland's name would remain on the ballot on the Conservative Party and Independence Party lines.

During the general election, Mahoney was pitted against New York State Assemblyman, William "Bill" Magnarelli. Mahoney campaigned on bringing a "fresh start" to the County, while Magnarelli campaigned on the grounds that he was more experienced than Mahoney. She also argued that Magnarelli was too tied to Albany to understand how Onondaga County worked – something the voters should not tolerate.[3]

In the course of the race, Mahoney picked-up some key endorsements. She was endorsed by Syracuse Tomorrow, the political action committee of the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce;[6] The Post-Standard, the local newspaper in Syracuse;[7] and Republican presidential-hopeful Rudy Giuliani, who is popular in upstate New York.[8]

Ultimately, Mahoney won the election in a landslide victory, earning 58% of the vote to Magnarelli's 36% .[9]

On November 19, 2007, Mahoney announced the names of her transition team that would ease the switch from Pirro's administration to hers. As she had promised on the campaign trail, it was a bipartisan team of Republicans and Democrats. The honorary co-chairs of her transition team were Republican County Executive Nick Pirro and former Syracuse Mayor Thomas Ganley Young, a Democrat.[10]

Electoral history[edit]

Onondaga County Executive Election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Joanie Mahoney 68,183 58.1 N/A
Democratic William Magnarelli 42,144 35.9 N/A
Independence Dale Sweetland 5,862 5 N/A
Working Families William Magnarelli 42,144 35.9 N/A
Conservative (N.Y.) Dale Sweetland 5,862 5 N/A
Independent Ed Ryan 1,083 1 N/A
Independent Joanie Mahoney 68,183 58.1 N/A
Majority 26,039 22.2
Turnout 117,292
  • Mahoney ran as a Republican and under the Fresh Start Party line
  • William Magnarelli ran as a Democrat and under the Working Families Party line
  • Dale Sweetland ran under the Conservative and Independence Parties of New York
  • Ed Ryan ran under the It's Your County Party line
Onondaga County Executive Republican Primary, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Joanie Mahoney 10,412 49.2 N/A
Republican Dale Sweetland 10,391 49.1 N/A
Majority 21 0.1
Turnout 21,125
Syracuse, NY Mayoral Election, 2005
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Matthew Driscoll (Incumbent) 16,470 49.7 N/A
Republican Joanie Mahoney 15,110 45.6 N/A
Green Howie Hawkins 1,551 4.7 N/A
Independence Joanie Mahoney 15,110 45.6 N/A
Working Families Matthew Driscoll (Incumbent) 16,470 49.7 N/A
Conservative (N.Y.) Joanie Mahoney 15,110 45.6 N/A
Majority 1,360 4.1
Turnout 33,131


  1. ^ a b Steve Carlic. "Untested but undeterred, she promises a 'fresh start'". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  2. ^ a b Knight Political Reporting Archived June 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b c "Syracuse & Central NY Local News". Retrieved 2014-06-29. [dead link]
  4. ^ Daily Orange[dead link]
  5. ^ a b c The Post Standard
  6. ^ "Chamber's PAC backs Mahoney". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived November 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ [2] Archived November 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Daily Orange Archived November 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ The Post Standard
Political offices
Preceded by
Nicholas J. Pirro
Onondaga County, New York Executive
January 1, 2008–present