Monroe County Legislature elects Yversha Roman as president

MONROE COUNTY, N.Y. — After four votes over two days, the Monroe County Legislature has a new president. Legislators elected Yversha Roman — a Democrat whose district encompasses parts of Gates, Greece and Rochester — as president. She is the first Latina to serve in that position.

Roman named Democrat Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons as vice president. Michael Yudelson is majority leader.

“I want to thank my colleagues for not only realizing that this could be a momentous moment for our community, to ensure we continue the legacy of diversifying the seat of the president of the Legislature, but to have seen in me the ability to lead, be trusted and move Monroe County forward, with a collaborative county government that will be mindful of every corner of this community,” Roman said after taking the leader’s chair.

Fifteen votes are required to elect a president of the Legislature. On the first vote, on Tuesday Roman and Republican Jackie Smith each received 13 votes and Vazquez-Simmons received two, with one legislator abstaining. In the second vote on Tuesday, Vazquez-Simmons was not nominated, but the two who voted for her the first time — Rachel Barnhart and herself — abstained, leading to a vote of 14 for Roman to 13 for Smith. The Legislature adjourned the meeting until Wednesday.

On Wednesday, an initial vote led to another 14-13 result with Barnhart and Vazquez-Simmons abstaining again. After a recess, the legislators returned to vote again, and this timeBarnhart and Vazquez-Simmons voted with their fellow Democrats to elect Roman as president.