LIVINGSTON COUNTY — After an election day tie by voters in the Livingston County Conservative Party primary, the party’s executive committee decided unanimously Thursday to endorse Undersheriff Jim Szczesniak as candidate for Sheriff, sending him through to the November general election where he will face Republican nominee, Tom Dougherty.
The dramatic tie of 159-159 in the Conservative Primary followed intense controversy when 59 ballots, that were intended on the Republican line were placed on the Conservative line instead. Excluding the 59 misplaced votes , Conservative party turnout was only 259 in total. The Republican Primary had a total of 7,724 voters, which Dougherty narrowly won by a margin of 160 votes.
The ballot error occurred in the Geneseo voting district, where there were 50 miscast ballots, and in Caledonia where there were 9 miscast ballots.
CONSERVATIVE PARTY DISTRICT BREAKDOWNS
(50 of which, should have been placed on the Republican Line)
(9 of which should have been placed on the Conservative Line)
Back in May the Livingston County Conservative Party Chair, Jason McGuire stated, “Following a three-hour interview process, our committee unanimously agreed that both Mr. Dougherty and Mr. Szczesniak would represent our party’s values well.” stated McGuire in a press release, “We determined that so long as both candidates would carry our banner proudly, that Livingston County voters deserve a continued debate surrounding the still-evolving policy differences between the two candidates.”
On Thursday, however, the Livingston County Conservative Party Executive Committee unanimously agreed that Jim Szczesniak was their choice for the November ballot. According to McGuire there were two issues that led to the change in direction for the committee. The first issue was they felt that Szczesniak would be a better negotiator when it came to bargaining contracts with the unions within the Sheriff’s Department. The second was that candidate Dougherty had softened his stance on the Safe Act.
The Livingston County Conservative Party Executive Committee, which officially formed in October of 2012, consists of Jason McGuire and his wife Lorenne, Dennis Jasinksi, John Andy Palmer, and Douglas Straight.