Cortland County legislator resigns six weeks ahead of general election

CORTLAND, N.Y. - The sudden resignation of a county legislator this week comes amid an impending shakeup on the Cortland County Legislature.

Luke Snyder (I), who has represented the 5th legislative district since 2014, tendered his resignation Tuesday, according to Eric Mulvihill, clerk of the Cortland County Legislature.

Luke Snyder

“He has relocated with his family out of Cortland County,” Mulvihill said, adding that the legislature received his resignation in the form of an email Tuesday night.

Snyder could not be reached for comment.

Snyder’s resignation, which is effective immediately, comes less than two months before the Nov. 7 general election. Further complicating matters, Snyder’s district covers the city of Cortland, which means it’s up to City of Cortland Common Council to appoint his replacement, Mulvihill said.

Had Snyder stayed on as a legislator, he would have cruised to victory, as he was the only candidate on the ballot in his district.

It’s unclear when city officials will appoint Snyder’s replacement. Common Council held its regularly scheduled meeting this past Tuesday--without knowledge of Snyder’s resignation--and is not scheduled to meet again until Oct. 3.

Snyder’s departure means that at least four county legislators will be replaced by newcomers this November. In the primary election last week, legislator John Troy (D) lost to Doug Bentley (D); legislator Amy Cobb (D) was defeated by Beau Harbin (D); and legislator Gordon Wheelock (R) was defeated handily by Kelly Preston (R).

Snyder was running on the Independent and Republican party lines. With no one else on the ballot for his district seat, it is now up to the Cortland County Republican Committee to find a ballot replacement, according to Robert Howe, Republican Commissioner for the Cortland County Board of Elections.

That person may be different than the one recommended by Common Council, opening the chance for a contested race on Nov. 7.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that legislator Linda Jones was appointed to the Cortland County Legislature by the Homer Town Board. She was, in fact, elected to her position. We apologize for the error.