ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Effectively ending a local intra-party squabble, Rochester City Councilor Jackie Ortiz has announced her candidacy for Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner and almost immediately picked up the endorsement of Acting Commissioner LaShana Boose, whose candidacy had pitted two Democratic factions against one another this year.
Ortiz made the announcement Monday claiming her experience as an at-large member of the Rochester City Councilor and a business owner has given her the skills necessary to successfully operate the BOE at a time when voting is being complicated by the pandemic.
“Our elections are the foundation of our democracy,” Ortiz said in a statement.”I will protect a voter’s right to register, cast their ballot, and make sure it is counted and tallied correctly.”
Boose’s candidacy had been the subject of debate within the Monroe County Legislature with some Democratic lawmakers disagreeing with colleagues in the minority and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren over the process of selecting the new commissioner.
But in a statement released Tuesday, Boose withdrew her candidacy and made only passing reference to the dust-up, instead choosing to focus on the importance of supporting another woman of color.
“For far too many years in this community, Black and Brown people have been pitted against each other and, today, it stops with me,” Boose said. “I will not tear down another woman of color when there is room for both of us at the table.”
Boose ended her statement saying she’s looking forward to working with the next Commissioner.
Should Ortiz win the position, she would have to step down from her seat on City Council – a seat that would then have to be filled.