Congress offers interesting contests in Rochester region
21 Aug

Congress offers interesting contests in Rochester region

As we detailed in a story on Monday, Aug. 15, there are at least five local political races worth keeping an eye on this election season.

The ones we listed include:

► Incumbent Louise Slaughter, a Democrat, against Republican Mark Assini in the 25th Congressional District, which covers most of Monroe County.

► Voters will decide this fall whether to keep Democrat Adam Bello on as Monroe County clerk or replace him with Republican Cheryl Rozzi.

► The scramble to replace retiring state Sen. Michael Nozzolio in the 54th District, which includes the town of Webster and large portions of Wayne, Ontario and Seneca counties.

► There’s a hard-fought Democratic primary contest unfolding between incumbent Harry Bronson, D-Rochester, and former television news reporter Rachel Barnhart in the 138th Assembly District, which includes parts of the city of Rochester and the towns of Henrietta and Chili. Republicans Bob Zinck and Peter Vazquez will face off in the Sept. 13 primary for the same seat.

► There’s a spirited race underway for an opening for a Monroe County Court judge. The seat was vacated by James Piampiano, a Republican elected last year to a state Supreme Court judgeship.

Several of these, as noted, will be contested in the local voting on Primary Day, Tuesday, Sept. 13. New York has a closed primary system, which means you must have enrolled in a party when you registered to be eligible to vote in that party’s primary. We will have previews of the primary races running the week of the Labor Day holiday, Sept. 5. And we will write previews of the general election races that will publish online and in print in October. The general election this year is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

One of the questions that will be interesting to explore as we move along is whether the presidential election and its twists and turns have any impact on the local level. It’s more likely to have an impact at the congressional level than races further down the ballot.

Congressional races

There are some other interesting congressional races in the region and state we will keep an eye on. In our region, there are three in particular, in addition to the Slaughter-Assini rematch.

► Rep. Chris Collins of Clarence, a Republican whose district stretches into southern Monroe County, is being challenged by Democrat Diana Kastenbaum of Batavia.

► Rep. John Katko of Onondaga, a Republican whose district covers much of Wayne County, is facing opposition from Democrat Colleen Deacon of Syracuse.

► And in a district that stretches across much of the Southern Tier south of Rochester, incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Reed of Corning will be campaigning against Democrat John Plumb of the Jamestown area.

Back on the ballot

We may have a sixth local race worth watching, depending on whether Steve Glickman, a 27-year-old Democrat, can stay on the ballot and then mount a viable challenge against Republican incumbent Rich Funke in the 55th state Senate District. An appeals court reinstated Glickman on the ballot Thursday. A lower court judge had taken him off the ballot over lawsuits that were filed claiming he didn’t meet residency requirements, but the appeals judges found those claims invalid.

Reader Q&A

What about the third-party candidates?

What about them indeed. It will be interesting to see how many votes they receive.

Jill Stein, a physician, is the Green Party candidate for president, though as of Friday the New York state Board of Elections website didn’t list her as submitting a nominating petition. (There is still time for her and others to be added.)

The state does have listed:

Gary Johnson, who served two terms as a Republican governor of New Mexico, as the Libertarian candidate for president.

Lynn S. Kahn, who has a doctorate in clinical psychology, is the Voters United candidate for president.

And Roque De La Fuente, a businessman from San Diego, running as an independent.

They all have websites. Check them out and see if their positions come closer to your point of view than the major-party candidates.

Important dates

Important upcoming dates, according to the Monroe County Board of Elections calendar.

Aug. 24: Last day to change an address for the state/local primary election on Sept. 13.

Aug. 26: Last day to accept or decline a federal independent nomination.

Aug. 26: Last day to accept or decline an independent nomination for state or local offices.

Aug. 29: Last day to fill a vacancy after a declination of an independent nominating petition for state or local office.

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