ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Monroe County Legislature was embroiled in controversy Tuesday, following the election of Democrat Sabrina LaMar as president. LaMar became president by striking a deal with Republicans in the legislature — effectively handing them the majority vote — after Democrats won a majority of seats on election night.
LaMar was elected by a 15 to 14 vote Monday night— with all 14 Republicans voting for her and all 14 Democrats voting against. She is the first Black woman to hold the position of Monroe County Legislature president, and the first Democrat to do so in nearly 30 years. Still, her deal with Republicans may give that party more power in setting the legislature’s agenda.
“My voice hasn’t been heard, or it wouldn’t have been heard… without being in a leadership position,” LaMar said. “I’ve had the opportunity to speak with both sides of the aisle, and the impression that I got is that if I didn’t step up and you know, step out on faith, that my district could suffer from it.”
Monroe County Democratic Committee Chair Zach King said LaMar’s decision arose from her desire to increase her own political power.
“We’ve seen nationally what happens when Democratic officials won’t work with their own colleagues and become a rubber stamp for the Republican agenda,” King said in a statement issued Monday. “It would be a shame for residents in [LaMar’s] district and throughout the county for that dysfunction to continue here.”
Yversha Roman is now the Democratic minority leader in the legislature.