There were some tense moments Saturday as local Democrats gathered for making decisions on backing candidates in upcoming elections. And that tension mainly surrounded the 138th district Assembly seat now held by Harry Bronson.
The Monroe County Democratic Committee is backing Alex Yudelson in that race, rather than the incumbent. Yudelson is currently Chief of Staff at City Hall.
The tie-breaking decision was made by committee leaders after the first vote resulted in a 49-49% split among the candidates. Bronson supporters expressed their disappointment with the final decision citing controversy over two abstention votes.
Democratic Counsel Nathan Van Loon says the decision came down to the committee leaders that were in attendence.
"We have 49 people that signed in and 47 voted... and two of them decided not to vote. So to our formula, we have to count everybody that’s there, as part of giving that weighted vote."
Bronson says that he initially had over 50% of the vote, and he claims the party manipulated the system.
“It’s mathematically impossible if you are only counting votes that one of those people didn’t get over fifty percent. I was that person. I got over fifty percent in the caucus. Then the party manipulated the system, and you saw the outrage from the many people in that room when that happened,” says Bronson.
Yudelson says he is happy with the designation, but he is also in favor of changing the rules in the future.
“It’s the process. And if people want to change the rules, I am absolutely in favor of changing the rules. But at the end of the day the voters voted it was an incredibly close race, I was honored to win,” says Yudelson.
The designation decision is just the beginning for both candidates who are looking to fill the state assembly seat. The two are expected to face off once again during the June 23 primary.
The 138th District includes parts of the City of Rochester and the towns of Henrietta and Chili.
Other endorsements made by the MCDC on Saturday included:
Joe Morelle, Congress-25th district.
Nate McMurray, Congress-27th district.
Shauna O'Toole, NYS Senate-54th district.
Samra Brouk, NYS Senate-55th district.
Jeremy Cooney, NYS Senate-56th district.
Jason Klimek, NYS Senate-59th district.
Kim Smith, NYS Senate-61st district.
ChaRon Sattler-Leblanc, NYS Assembly-133rd district.
Dylan Dailor, NYS Assembly-134th district.
Jen Lunsford, NYS Assembly-135th district.
Justin Wilcox-NYS Assembly-136th district.
Ernest Flagler-NYS Assembly-137th district.
Chris Ciaccio-Monroe County Surrogate Court Judge.
Meredith Vacca-Monroe County Court Judge.
Jamie Romeo-Monroe County Clerk.
Theresa Johnson-Rochester City Court Judge.