Democratic Legislator Stephanie Aldersley is looking to win the seat she once held for a decade.
Aldersley was appointed to the Monroe County Legislature earlier this year to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Vinnie Esposito. She's running now to fill the remaining three years of Esposito's term, and faces a challenge from Republican Joe Carbone. The winner will represent the 16th District, which covers part of Irondequoit.
Aldersley represented the district for 10 years; she was term-limited out of the Legislature in 2007, but is now eligible to serve again. Carbone, a podiatrist, challenged Esposito in 2011 and lost by less than 10 percent of the vote.
Voters should choose Aldersley. She shares her caucus's concerns on issues like the county's recurring deficits, its use of local development corporations, and the administration's cuts to social services.
On large, controversial issues — the county's annual budget included — the Legislature's votes are often split along party lines. And Republicans have used their majority to force through controversial measures, including appointing a new public defender and approving an administration proposal to cut funding for home lead inspections in the City of Rochester.
Individual Republican legislators rarely break with their caucus, and there's little evidence to suggest that Carbone would be an independent voice.
Democrats reliably question the administration on spending and policies.
"The minority does operate as kind of a watchdog on the administration," Aldersley says, explaining that further Democrat losses could diminish the caucus's oversight abilities.
Later this year or early next year, the Legislature will vote on borrowing to move Monroe Community College's downtown campus from the Sibley building to the State Street Kodak campus. That measure requires a two-thirds vote, meaning some Democrats would have to vote in favor. Aldersley says she's undecided on the move. The caucus hasn't received enough information, she says, and she's worried the county may end up paying more for the Kodak buildings than they are worth.