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Dem committee to vote on Lej vacancy

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Democratic committee members in the 21st Legislative District appear poised to recommend Rachel Barnhart for a vacant seat in the County Legislature.  Barnhart won a Democratic primary for the seat in June.

Mark Muoio, who's not seeking reelection, resigned the seat earlier this week after Republicans questioned his residency. He and his wife recently bought a house outside of the district and put their Wisconsin Street house up for sale. The house hasn't sold yet, and Muoio said he had always intended to resign the position once it did.

The 21st Legislative District Democratic Committee will meet at 6 p.m. on September 18 to vote on Muoio's successor.  The committee's leader, Anthony Plonczynski-Figueroa, said in a press release that he's backing Barnhart.

“After a convincing victory in June, Rachel has already hit the ground running, helping Democratic candidates for County Legislature with their 2019 races and we are excited for her to get a head start serving our district,” Plonczynski-Figueroa said.

Regardless of who's appointed, Barnhart will likely take over the seat in January.  She defeated Victor Sanchez in the Democratic primary, and although he still has the Working Families Party line on the November ballot, he's not campaigning. Barnhart otherwise has no challenger.

Ultimately, the County Legislature's president is responsible for making appointments to vacant seats; the person selected has to be from the same party as the person who held the seat. Traditionally, the president honors the recommendation of the party chair.