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Stage set for November legislature showdown

Jill Terreri
Staff writer

Tuesday's primary sets the stage for November, when Republicans defend eight seats on the Monroe County Legislature and try to hang on to their one-seat majority. Primary winners include Democrats Saul A. Maneiro and Carrie M. Andrews in Rochester and Nora L. Bredes in Perinton, according to unofficial results.

Republicans had no primaries for county legislature seats, but at least one of their candidates appeared to be successful in an Independence Party primary where they ran against an Independence Party member.

Fifteen of 29 seats in the legislature are up for grabs this year, and all winners will serve for two years until 2011, when voters will cast ballots for all 29 districts.

Republican John Howland appeared to be successful, according to unofficial results, in an Independence Party primary in the 13th District in Henrietta, against Whitney Carleton, an Independence Party member. However, Democrats waged a write-in campaign for the line for their candidate, Michael Condello, and believe they have enough votes to overcome Howland's total, county Democratic Committee spokesman Sean Hart said.

The board of elections could not confirm the total write-in ballots cast and Republican Commissioner Peter Quinn said they would be counted on Thursday.

Howland and Condello are seeking to succeed Republican Jack Driscoll, who is retiring.

Republican Mike Rockow easily won in another Independence Party primary in the 2nd District in Brockport against Todd W. Brindle, an Independence Party member. If the unofficial results hold, Rockow, on the Republican, Independence and Conservative lines, will face Democrat Sheldon Meyers, also on the Working Families line, in November. The winner will succeed Legislature President Wayne Zyra, a Republican, who is also retiring.

Bredes, a former county legislator from Suffolk County and director of the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership at the University of Rochester, is one of three endorsed Democrats who won Tuesday. She easily beat three-time Democratic candidate Robert Antonitis with 80 percent of the vote and will face one-term incumbent Ciaran Hanna, a Republican, in November in the 18th District.

An automated phone call, the origin of which is unclear, went out to Democratic voters telling them not to vote for Bredes. "I frankly think the Republicans are afraid," she said.

Andrews defeated first-time candidate Janice L. Bowers, winning about three-fourths of the vote and will be the only candidate on the ballot for the 21st District, in eastern Rochester.

Andrews was the target of negative mailings last week. "The voters can see through that," she said.

Maneiro defeated Michael A. Patterson, though Patterson will appear on the Working Families Party line in November.

The Republicans are going after two Democratic seats this year. The one-vote margin they currently hold is all they need to carry much of the Brooks administration's agenda through the legislature.

Democrats are seeking control of the chamber for the first time since 1991.

Results from primaries that allowed voters to write in names, also known as opportunity to ballot, will be finalized on Friday, said Democratic Election Commissioner Thomas Ferrarese.

In the 20th Legislature District in Riga and Ogden, Democrats wrote in names of candidates. The winner will face Republican Robert Colby.

County Court
Democrat Brian McCarthy, who was appointed to Monroe County Court by Gov. David Paterson this year, lost both the Working Families and Independence Party primaries to Republican John L. DeMarco, an Irondequoit town justice.

In addition to the Independence and Working Families lines, DeMarco will appear on the Republican and Conservative lines; McCarthy will be on the Democratic line.