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Monroe County Democratic lawmakers remain split over Legislature Minority Leader

Local Politics

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Democratic lawmakers serving in the Monroe County Legislature remain fractured over who holds the top leadership position in their Caucus.

“They chose me to be the Democratic leader,” said Legislator Yversha Roman (D-26) after a Wednesday press conference. “I am the Minority Leader of the Democratic Caucus and have been acting as such since I was voted in last month.”

In a Wednesday interview, Legislator Vincent Felder (D-22) told News 8 he still held the title.

“Yes, I am the leader,” Felder said.

A letter penned to Roman by the Legislature’s Counsel last Thursday, provided to News 8 by the legislature’s Democratic Staff Office, said Felder would “continue to be recognized as leader pending recommended judicial intervention.”

An opinion from law firm Harris Beach, dated Sept. 8, said the Democratic Caucus “acted properly when designating Yversha Roman Minority Leader.”

The division finds its origins in the process to select a new Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner for the county, a role to which Jackie Ortiz, a former Rochester City Councilmember, was eventually appointed.

A vote took place among the party’s legislators in August, during which most Democrats chose Roman to be the Minority Leader, which Felder argues wasn’t legal and therefore not effective.

MORE: Democrats clash over leadership in Monroe County Legislature

Felder told News 8 he has not had conversations with opposing Democratic colleagues since last month.

“I’m doing my job,” Felder added. “I’ve produced legislation, we renamed the airport, we’re working on some other things to make sure the people in the district that I represent are getting what they need.”

“[Constituents] need us to be talking about child care, and things that really impact our families, not who’s leading what,” said Roman.

MORE: Democrats in Monroe County Legislature form new caucus following clash over leadership

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