Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins and Iraq War veteran David Bellavia are running for the Republican line in the new 27th Congressional District. The winner will face Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul in November.
The District includes all of Niagara, Wyoming, Orleans, Genesee and Livingston Counties, most of Erie County and parts of Ontario County. About five percent of the District lies in Monroe County. Lawn signs can be seen in Mendon, Rush, Wheatland, Hamlin and part of Clarkson. "From the Board of Elections standpoint, not only here in Monroe but for every county, the same amount of work goes into preparing for an election," said Monroe County Board of Elections Commissioner Peter Quinn.
Only 13 polling sites in Monroe County will have ballots that reflect both the 27th Congressional Primary and the U.S. Senate Republican Primary. The other 280 polling sites will have a ballot for the Senate Primary only. In that race, candidates Wendy Long, George Maragos and Bob Turner are seeking the line opposite Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand. Quinn said Tuesday's primary will cost the county about $300,000. That's on top of the Presidential Primary in April and the local primaries coming up in September, as per the State Legislature. "We were hoping as Election Commissioners that we could narrow it for the voters into one election period for primaries but it just didn't work out that way," said Quinn.
Redistricting has also created a new 23rd Congressional District, which includes parts of Ontario County along with Yates and Steuben Counties. Three Democrats, Leslie Danks Burke, Melissa Dobson and Nate Shinagawa are vying for the right to oppose Republican incumbent Tom Reed.
The local chapter of the League of Women Voters for the Rochester metropolitan area is once again helping people become educated voters. "We want an informed voter and that's what we're all about," said local chapter President Georgia DeGregorio.
The League of Women Voters has launched a website, vote411.org, to help people figure out how to register to vote, where to vote and access information about candidates. "We are non-partisan, we don't support a candidate, we don't support a political party," noted DeGregorio.
Bellavia, the 27th District candidate, is married to New 8 reporter Deanna King.
Polls in Erie County will open at 6 a.m. while all other locations will be open from noon until 9 p.m Tuesday.