The 2017 General Election in Monroe County saw several races where incumbents were,. in a surprise to many, unseated.
Many eyes were on the Sheriff’s race, where Democrat challenger Todd Baxter defeated incumbent Republican Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn by more than 20,000 votes.
Democrats also took seats in Henrietta and Pittsford, which are generally GOP-friendly towns.
Steve Schultz (D) will be the new Henrietta Supervisor, ousting incumbent Jack Moore (R).
In Pittsford, Democratic Town Board candidates Kevin Beckford and Stephanie Townsend also unseated incumbents running for re-election.
Monroe Co. Board of Elections Commissioner Thomas Ferrarese pointed to voter registration records as a reason why some of these seats flipped in 2017.
“I think they may have kind of hit in the last year or so, that kind of mass that allows them to finally begin to win some of these races in the towns that they’ve kind of been on the edge of for a while now,” said Ferrarese, “If the party gets out good candidates or candidates that are, you know, can be respected by the community…Then that trend will then take hold and take them over the finish line.”
This year voter turnout also played a big role in local elections. Monroe County estimates more than 35% of voters turned out on Tuesday, and that number will rise after a final tally. That’s a significant increase over general elections in 2013 and 2009.