Tied Livingston County DA Primary Headed Back To Court

Just when you thought the republican primary race for district attorney in Livingston County was coming to an end, there's another twist.

Candidates Steve Sessler and Eric Schiener both have 1881 votes, following a final tally of the absentee ballots that the court ordered should be tallied up.

Two votes went to Steve Sessler, with the final sealed ballot going to Eric Schiener.

The Livingston County Republican Committee was expected to break the tie Monday night because of the tie.

But Monday afternoon, Steve Sessler's campaign received a signed order to show cause and a restraining order that will delay the process.

State Supreme Court Justice John Ark signed off on the order.

A hearing is now set for Wednesday, October 3rd at 11 am.

The Livingston County Republican Committee has never seen anything like it.

"Once the primary was settled there was a certified winner, we've never had a tie," said Lowell Conrad, Republican Committee Chairman.

The two candidates haven't seen anything like this either.

"I have been using the roller coaster analogy all week but this is a whole amusement park," said Schiener.

"I think it was pretty well expected from this standpoint we have been tying, what is one more?" said Sessler Monday morning.

The tie was expected to end with the republican committee voting to pick the candidate.

"I hope that we have a decision," said Conrad.

But in a turn of events, the vote was halted because of court paperwork filed by Sessler's campaign.

It asks for all of the votes to be impounded, a judicial re-canvas of all of the ballots, and requests that the Livingston County Republican Committee vote not happen until all ballots are tallied up again.

The campaign thinks the vote tally is off by at least one.

Sessler expected the county's Republican Party to vote in favor of their endorsed candidate - Eric Schiener.

"I think they should look around the county and see that 50-percent of voters vote for me," said Sessler.

Schiener told News 8 he is disappointed by the court action to bring the case back to court.

He says it hurts the Republican Party.

"I said last week that I was not going to drag this back into the courts after Judge Ark's decision, [I'm] sure a few ballots would have gone in my favor," said Schiener.

Schiener said he is concerned that this court action could jeopardize the ballots that need to be finalized this week in order for absentee ballots to be sent out, particularly to service members overseas.

If Schiener wins the vote, it would become a three-way race.

Schiener would be on the Republican Party line, Sessler on the Conservative Party line, and District Attorney and incumbent would remain on the Democratic Party line.

Sessler feels that this should be a two-way race.

The matter will go to court on Wednesday in Rochester before Justice John Ark.

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