The polls closed at 9 p.m. and the unofficial results are in. There were a few upsets, but some seasoned incumbents also pulled through. And for one City Council seat and one city school board seat, the results are too close to call.
This year’s Democratic City Council primary was an unusual one in that two incumbents retired and a third resigned after pleading guilty to federal fraud charges. So city government will be losing some important institutional memory but getting a lot of new voices.
Northwest District: Based on unofficial returns, Jose Peo, a mortgage loan officer and an officer in the Charlotte Community Association, may have narrowly defeated the Democrats’ designated candidate, LaShanna Boose, 38.47 percent to 36.96 percent. Former City Court Judge Leticia Astacio came in third, at 24.23 percent.
But in an unusual move, shortly after 11 p.m., Monroe County Democratic Committee chair Brittaney Wells issued a press release saying: “when all the votes are counted LaShana Boose will be our next Rochester City Council member representing the Northwest district."
Wells said that more than 100 “absentee and affidavit ballots remain to be counted.”
South District: LaShay Harris, who was appointed to this seat after Adam McFadden resigned earlier this year, defeated Ann Lewis, 62.6 percent to 37 percent.
East District: Mary Lupien handily won the seat being vacated by long-time Council member Elaine Spaull, with 60.52 percent. Lupien, a long-time community activist, ran unsuccessfully for an at-large seat two years ago but had stayed involved and visible since then. The other candidates: Michael Geraci, 14.2 percent; Stanley Martin 11.94 percent; Wayne Harris, 8.33 percent; Bryce Miller, 4.91 percent.
Northeast District: Incumbent Mike Patterson handily defeated Norman Simmons, 65.75 percent to 33.79 percent.
Rochester City School Board
Ten candidates were running for four seats on the city school board. The surprise in that race is Beatriz LeBron’s clear top vote-getting win, with 14.98 percent of the votes. LeBron was followed by long-time incumbent Willa Powell at 13.54 percent. Newcomer Amy Maloy received 11.84 percent of the votes. And newcomer Ricardo Adams appears to pulled have an upset by taking incumbent Judith Davis’ seat. Adams got 10.56 percent of the vote, followed by Andria Bryant with 10.16 percent. Davis got 10.11 percent of the votes.
These are unofficial results, which is worth mentioning when it comes to Adams, Davis, and Bryant, since the three are close. But if Adams holds his slight lead, the slate that Davis ran on with Bryant, Howard Eagle, and Clifford Florence didn’t manage to captivate voters.
Initial takeaways from tonight’s results: Voters favored LeBron’s outspoken nature and didn’t penalize her for a very public tiff she had with candidate Eagle several weeks ago.
Powell has staying power, which is going to frustrate some. But it may mean that amid one of the most unusual school board elections in recent memory – Mayor Lovely Warren calling for a state takeover and a new superintendent starting the job in a matter of days – voters wanted some consistency and stability.
Board president Van White will not be leaving for City Court, which means the board will retain some current board members and add two newcomers.
Monroe County Legislature
Two big stories came out of tonight’s County Legislature Democratic primaries. In the 21st District race, former journalist Rachel Barnhart beat out the party-designated candidate Victor Sanchez. And in the 26th District, designated candidate Yversha Roman beat incumbent legislator Tony Micciche, who at the end of last year left the Legislature’s Republican caucus and joined the Dems.
Roman pulled in about 63 percent of the votes, and Micciche got 37 percent. The two squared off in the 2015 general election and will face off again this November, since Micciche has the Libertarian Party line. They’ll face a Republican challenger, Orlando Rivera.
Barnhart, who pulled in 53 percent of the vote to Sanchez’s 46 percent, won despite pushback from the party establishment. She campaigned hard and continued emphasizing government accountability, transit, and making better use of the county’s fiber optic network, themes that have been part of her previous three runs for office.
In the other County Lej contests:
- Former Henrietta Town Supervisor Michael Yudelson, the party’s designated candidate, beat challenger Terry Steg for the 13th District seat. Yudelson pulled in 58 percent of the vote while Steg got 42 percent.
- Linda Hasman, the party-designated candidate, came out on top in the three-way race for the 23rd District. She received 50 percent of the vote while Scotty Ginett received 20 percent and Todd Grady received 30 percent.
- John Lightfoot, the incumbent and designated candidate for the 25th District seat, got 70 percent of the vote, beating out challenger Montgomery Bryant, who pulled in 30 percent.
- Sabrina LaMar, who was recently appointed to the vacant 27th District seat, topped her challenger, Ebony Dukes. LaMar got 60 percent of the vote and Dukes got 40 percent.
The contest wasn’t really a preview of the coming general election matchup; it was more about a strategic advantage. The Independence Party line can help candidates win general elections: it’s an extra line, and some voters do associate it with founder Tom Golisano’s prolonged campaign against high property taxes. But some voters also conflate it with a candidate being independent of a party.
Rochester City Court
The one incumbent in the race, Melissa Barrett, led the field of six candidates competing for two seats. Barrett, one of the Democratic Party’s designated candidates, was appointed in December to succeed Leticia Astacio. She received about 30.4 percent of the vote.
Also heading to City Court: Nicole Morris, an assistant public defender, who received just over 20 percent of the votes.
The other candidates: Rochester school board president Van White, 17.48 percent; Mark Muoio, the Democrats’ other designated candidate, 15.69; Aaron Frazier, 8.9 percent; and Barbara Farrell, 7.14 percent.