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The final election results from the Democratic primary are in now that all absentee ballots have been counted. The general election is Nov. 2, in which the Democratic nominees may run uncontested or against Republican or Independent candidates.
County Legislature (District 1)
Travis Brooks is in the running to replace outgoing chair Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, who decided not to run again after spending 20 years as the legislator. Brooks defeated Nicole LaFave by 34 votes, 396-362. Brooks won the first ward 181 votes to LaFave’s 105, while LaFave was favored in the second ward, 257 votes to Brooks’ 215.
Brooks is the deputy director of the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, where he manages programs focused on education, development and sustainability. He’s also the director of Ithaca’s My Brother’s Keeper, a program launched by President Barack Obama designed to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color. He was also heavily involved in the Reimagining Public Safety collaborative between the city and the county, and will continue to serve on the newly created task force to work on the implementation of the plan.
County Legislature (District 2)
Veronica Pillar will replace Leslie Schill as the legislator for district two after receiving 309 votes to Schill’s 271. This race was a rematch of sorts, as Schill and Pillar originally faced off in a special election in March of this year to fill Anna Kelles’ spot after she left to join the New York State Assembly. In the March election, Schill defeated Pillar by just five votes.
Pillar works with the Tompkins County chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice, and has recently worked with the Tompkins County Antiracist Coalition and Mutual Aid Tompkins. She teaches physics and math at the Cascadilla School and at Tompkins Cortland Community College, and has worked locally in childcare, agriculture and food service.
County Legislature (District 8)
Vanessa Greenlee handily beat Robert Lynch in the race to represent district eight in the County Legislature, with 253 votes to Lynch’s 76. Lynch could run as an independent in the general election, but has said he will not as he wants to respect the people’s choice. He is currently a member of the Enfield Town Board.
Greenlee will replace outgoing legislator David McKenna, who decided not to rerun for his position. She is a founder of the Mill Park Concert Series, a Leadership Tompkins alumna and the communications and training lead for the Breeding Insight program funded by the USDA at Cornell University.
County Legislature (District 13)
Greg Mezey defeated Samantha Lushtak 151 votes to 130 in the race to replace outgoing legislator Martha Robertson, a longtime figure in the Legislature. Notably, Robertson had endorsed Mezey as her replacement after announcing she would not be running for re-election.
Mezey serves on the Tompkins County Strategic Tourism Planning Board (an advisory board to the Legislature) and owns and operates a small portfolio of residential and commercial properties locally.
Common Council (Ward 1)
Cynthia Brock won an uncontested race in her effort to continue representing the first ward on Common Council with 339 votes. Up until the week before the election, Brock was slated to run against Shaniya Foster and Yasmin Rashid for the Democratic nomination, but both Rashid and Foster dropped out of the race. However, their names remained on the ballot and Foster received 40 votes and Rashid received 41.
Brock has served on Common Council since 2011. She currently also serves on the Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee and is the chair of the Tompkins County Water Resources Council, as well as the chair of the Special Joint Committee of the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility. She is the city representative to the Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization and liaison to the city’s Workforce Diversity Advisory Committee and Parks, Recreation and Natural Areas Commission.
Common Council (Ward 5)
Robert Cantelmo beat Marty Hiller 326 votes to 230 in the race to represent the fifth district on Common Council. Cantelmo is officially in the running to replace Deb Mohlenhoff, who decided not to run for re-election.
Since 2019, Cantelmo has served as a member of the city’s Public Safety and Information Commission. Prior to moving to Ithaca to earn his PhD at Cornell, he worked in the Washington, DC nonprofit world as a foreign aid worker where he helped design and implement civic education, election monitoring, political participation and democratic governance assistance programs in the Middle East and South Asia.
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