LIVINGSTON COUNTY — In a major challenge to established Republican Party authority, Geneseo attorney Steve Sessler seems to have taken the Republican Party nomination over former Assistant District Attorney Eric Schiener. In the hotly contested race for Livingston County District Attorney, Sessler out-polled Schiener, the official Party-endorsed candidate, by a whisker. As of 10:00 pm Thursday, the unofficial Board of Elections figures showed Sessler with 1,792 and Schiener with 1,773.
“I think the voters of Livingston County understand the way you choose a candidate is in a primary election,” said Sessler. “What you are seeing today is the Republican voters of Livingston County appreciating the fact that they have the right to choose who the Republican candidate is to be.”
Commenting as the Board of Elections figures stabilized, Schiener said, “I’m proud of Livingston county Republicans for a record turnout in the primary. I can’t thank my supporters enough. I ran a clean campaign without outside influences. I’m proud of what my family and what my supporters have done this summer.”
Over 200 absentee ballots have yet to be counted, however, and the tally has yet to be officially certified by the Board of Elections. When asked about the absentee ballots still outstanding, Schiener was optimistic. “I still think my resume will win over the absentees, and we will come out on top.”
Just over half of Republicans voting pulled the lever expressly for a candidate not endorsed by the party apparatus. When asked if the Livingston County Republican Committee is still in touch with the voters, Schiener reflected: “I hope that the people who came out for Steve Sessler today stay active in the party. The turnout shows that this contest has reenergized the party.”
In the other major contest of interest, radio celebrity Bill Nojay coasted to victory in the race for the State Assembly mainly on the basis of strong support from Monroe and Stueben Counties. Richard Burke, former Avon Mayor, won handily in Livingston County, but lost overall.