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Feedback 6/19 

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Responding to our primary coverage

I am appreciative of CITY's continued coverage of local elections. I am troubled, however, that CITY printed worries from anonymous legislators that I would not be a "team player." I was not called for a response to these allegations. The idea that a woman who holds government accountable and questions powerful people can't work with others is a tired trope. I'm a lifelong Democrat who is committed to one team — the one belonging to citizens. Once elected, I look forward to working with my fellow legislators.


Rachel Barnhart is a Democratic candidate for the County Legislature's 21st District seat.

I appreciate that you are covering the Monroe County Legislature races - I feel like they are often overlooked. However, in the "Primary Day" piece by CITY reporters Jeremy Moule and Tim Louis Macaluso, to those familiar with the 21st District race, your summary of events and characterization of the candidates are misleading. Frankly, it seems revisionist in favor of the party-designated candidate.

While you didn't come right out and use the word "endorse," your framing of the two candidates in the 21st District makes it clear you have a preference. Victor Sanchez is described as working with other Democrats to accomplish a mutual agenda. To cement that image, you note that party bigwigs have appeared with him, giving tacit approval of his campaign.

Meanwhile, you note that folks speaking "privately" have said that Rachel Barnhart isn't a team player. Barnhart, it should be noted, was not given a chance to respond to that allegation, which seems unfair to me. It is an allegation she has fought in every race as it continues to be repeated by media sources like yours with no evidence.

It should also be noted that your summation of the events leading to Sanchez's designation lack some important details. I suggest reading former Monroe County Democratic Committee party chair Dave Garretson's June 9 Facebook post, which reads in part:

"Which brings us to 2019, when the leader of the LD 21 Democratic Committee asked Rachel to run as their candidate for County Legislature. Which immediately prompted displeasure from Rachel's former primary opponents. That would be the Mayor and Assembly member Harry Bronson. Who embarked on a search to find somebody better, a candidate whose primary qualification would be not-being-Rachel. They found their not-Rachel. His name is Victor Sanchez. The ins and outs of what happened after that — a little too much for this space. It was an unfortunate combination of procedural errors, back room arm-twisting, and fudging the rules — resulting in Victor being named as the party's designated candidate, and Rachel being the challenger."

In other words, Rachel was offered the designation and then it was taken back because of the pettiness of local Democratic politicians. And to be clear — it was rescinded in a "process" that broke their own rules.



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