Monroe County Legislature democratic feud could lead to leadership changes

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A feud within the democratic party might soon result in leadership changes, as there are talks to strip the Monroe County democratic legislature minority leader of his power.

Democratic Minority leader Vincent Felder is calling the process behind the appointment of a Board of Elections commissioner unfair, and wants to see it re-done, even as other democrats are saying the process was done in good faith. 

An ongoing dispute over who will become the Democrats’ next Board of Elections Commissioner is feeding a feud in the party. 

A vote to appoint Jackie Ortiz to the Board of Elections commissioner position following her win at the party committee level was stopped by democratic leadership citing a court order.

Minority Leader Vincent Felder was one of 5 democrats in the County Legislature to block the vote, he considers the win at the party committee invalid and wants to start over. 

“People were claiming that she got 85% of the votes, she got 85% of whoever was there, but were talking about really about who actually turned up physically, less than a quarter of the members of the party,” said Vincent Felder, Monroe County Legislature Democratic Minority Leader.

But other legislators are saying there is no questions Ortiz had majority committee backing following that convention. 

Jackie Ortiz herlself call the moved unfortunate and a said it is pushing out the timeframe to get the work for this upcoming election done. 

Other Democrats like Rachel Barnhart and John Baynes called the move disappointing in statement saying;

“Jackie Ortiz was overwhelmingly selected in a duly authorized vote of the members of the Monroe County Democratic Committee, and certification of that was submitted by the Party Chair to the President of the Legislature,”

Other Legislators who wanted to move forward with the vote are now questioning the delay, and say there are painful discussions about how to move forward regarding Felder’s leadership. 

“I’m not stepping down they can vote me out if they want,” said Felder. “The most ideal situation is we rip this whole process up and start over again where we can have a real convention after all this pandemic stuff is over and keep peace and unity in the party.”

There will be a hearing on the court order that is subject of the delay later this week, what comes out of that will decided if a vote on the board of elections commissioner position will take place. 

Any delay from here is going into impact our elections locally.

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