Correction: A previous version of this story stated there would still be a primary held for the two major parties on June 28. Because there is only one candidate for each party now, that is not true: Zachary Winn and Laura Lewis will be the Republican and Democratic candidates, respectively.

TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The Republican primary for Ithaca mayor is now down to just one candidate, as William Metro, the well-known Magic Man on the Ithaca Commons, has been thrown off of the ballot.

Metro was taken off the ballot after his number of petition signatures was challenged by Republican mayoral opponent Zachary Winn, a local conservative firebrand and blogger. Metro had submitted the required 37 signatures to get on the ballot, but Winn filed specific objections to eight of the signatures.

In a hearing last week, the Tompkins County Board of Elections ruled in Winn’s favor in seven of the eight instances, meaning that Metro then only had 30 valid signatures. Since that does not meet the minimum threshold to get on the Republican ballot in Ithaca, and the deadline has passed, Metro cannot be on the ballot.

Winn did not respond to a request for comment.

Winn’s objections largely centered on whether or not signatories to the petitions were legitimately city residents and registered members of the Republican party. Several of Metro’s signatures were found to not meet one of either of those criteria.

The situation has not deterred Metro, though, as he now plans to run as a third party candidate. He has until May 31 to get 170 signatures of registered independent voters. This time, he said, he plans on getting well over the required number of signatures to avoid another setback via challenge.

“I’m still a Republican, but my new platform is the ‘Common Sense Party,'” Metro said. “I’m still running with the same basic campaign mantra.”

Winn is uncontested now in the Republican primary, so as long as he remains in the race he will be the Republican candidate for mayor. The only Democratic candidate is incumbent Acting Mayor Laura Lewis, so she will be the Democratic nominee. A general election will be held in November to determine who will finish out the final year of former Mayor Svante Myrick’s term.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at