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One City Council race too close to call; three others win easily

Jun 26, 2019

The Democratic primary for the Rochester City Council district seats can be summed up like this: two new faces, one familiar face, and one that hasn't been determined yet.

East District

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The biggest win of the night belonged to Mary Lupien. In a five-candidate race for the seat vacated by longtime Council member Elaine Spaull, Lupien ran away with the victory, capturing 61 percent of the vote. Her next closest opponent was Michael Geraci, who gathered 14 percent of the vote. Lupien, a Rochester City School District bilingual consultant teacher, stated that she prefers not to make distinctions between her district and the city as a whole, and noted that extreme, systemic poverty is the biggest problem facing Rochester.

South District

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LaShay Harris easily defeated Ann Lewis, earning 62 percent of the vote. Harris is a fresh face on the Council; when Adam McFadden vacated his seat in February after being charged with wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and other crimes in his role at Rochester Housing Authority, Harris announced she would enter the race to fill McFadden's seat. In April, Harris was tapped to serve the rest of McFadden’s term, sliding over from her 27th District seat in the Monroe County Legislature. Harris works in the Rochester City School District's Career Pathways to Public Safety program.

Northeast District

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The familiar face that will stay on the Council is Michael Patterson. Voters returned him to Council by a 2-to-1 margin over challenger Norman Simmons Jr.

Patterson has represented the Northeast District since December 2013. He chairs Council's Neighborhood and Business Development Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee and Arts and Culture Committee.

Northwest District

This race had a high-profile candidate in former City Court Judge Leticia Astacio, but it was the other two candidates who ended up being in a race too close to call. Unofficial machine votes have Jose Peo leading LaShana Boose, the designated Democratic candidate, by 27 votes. After the unofficial absentee ballot count by the Monroe County Board of Elections, Peo still leads by 25 votes, and it's expected there are some affidavit ballots that still need to be counted.

Includes reporting from CITY Newspaper's Mary Anna Towler & Efua Agyare-Kumi