Former Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard has boosted his lead in his effort to win the Monroe County Democratic Committee’s designation for mayor.
Sheppard won two of the three Democratic committees that voted last night on the mayoral nomination: the 21st and 23rd legislative district committees. Mayor Lovely Warren won the 24th district committee. Former television reporter Rachel Barnhart placed third in all three.
The committees voting last night are predominantly on the city’s east side. Earlier this month, Sheppard won all three northwest Democratic committees.
That gives Sheppard a win in five of the 10 Democratic committees and Warren in only one, but the remaining four committees could be more favorable to Warren. If that’s the case, the party’s designating convention later this spring will open with the two candidates tied. On the first ballot at that event, each committee must vote for the candidate who won at the individual committee meetings. After that, delegates may change their vote.
Candidates who lose at the convention can challenge the designated candidate in a primary in September, and given the intensity of the race so far, a primary is highly likely.
Also last night: the eastside Democratic committees voted for City Council, where all five at-large seats will be on the ballot. The five top choices in a crowded field last night: Jackie Ortiz, Malik Evans, Loretta Scott, Dana Miller, and Tom Hasman. Ortiz, Scott, and Miller are incumbents.