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Term limits lead to new Dem leadership 

When the Monroe County Legislature reconvenes in 2020, Legislator Vince Felder will hold the top leadership post in the Democratic minority caucus.

Democratic legislators selected Felder, who was first elected in 2015, to be the next minority leader. The position will potentially carry more weight in the new session than previously with a Democrat in the office county executive. Adam Bello unseated Republican County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo in the recent election, snapping the GOP’s 27-year hold on the seat.
click to enlarge Democratic county legislators have elected Legislator Vince Felder to their caucus's top leadership post. - FILE PHOTO
  • FILE PHOTO
  • Democratic county legislators have elected Legislator Vince Felder to their caucus's top leadership post.


In his new capacity, Felder will likely be a crucial liaison between Bello and the legislature. He said the caucus will “be working as closely as possible with Adam Bello.”

Among his priorities, Felder said, will be to work to repeal what he called the “ridiculous” first responder harassment law passed by Republicans. The law makes “intentionally annoying” a police officer or first responder a crime, and has been derided as unconstitutional and unnecessary by police, defense attorneys, and civil rights advocates.

Democrats gained two seats in the 2019 elections but Republicans will still hold a 15 to 14 majority in 2020. So if Democrats want to pass or repeal legislation they’ll need to convince at least one Republican to vote with them.

Felder replaces Cynthia Kaleh as the Democratic caucus’s leader. Kaleh was unable to run for re-election due to term limits.

Democrats re-elected Ernest Flagler-Mitchell to one of two assistant minority leader posts and elected Josh Bauroth to the other. Flagler-Mitchell has served in the Legislature since 2015 and Bauroth since 2011.

Four of the 14 Democratic legislators are women, and all of them are freshman. Seeking to ensure that their voices are heard by the leadership, the legislators, Sabrina Lamar, Linda Hasman, Yversha Roman, and Rachel Barnhart, have formed a Women’s Caucus.

Jeremy Moule is CITY’s news editor. He can be reached at jmoule@rochester-citynews.com.

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