News10NBC investigates: Candidate on Monroe County ballot actually lives in Long Island

Monroe County DA race uncontested 10-24

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – We’re investigating all the uncontested races in the November election. In 61 percent of the offices on the ballot, voters have zero choice.

That includes the race for Monroe County District Attorney.

News10NBC chief investigative journalist Berkeley Brean found a race that looks like a real competition. Turns out, it’s not all it seems.

MORE: Early voting for general election starts in Monroe County on Saturday

It’s the race for New York State Supreme Court based in Rochester. But if you vote for the Democrat, you’re actually voting for a person who lives on Long Island.

It’s the first race listed in the Monroe County Board of Elections booklet of candidates. The Democrat for State Supreme Court in our region is Margot Garant.

Never heard of her?

That’s because her address is Port Jefferson, New York. That’s in Suffolk County, Long Island.

Berkeley Brean, chief investigative reporter: How does she end up running for a Supreme Court judge position in Rochester?

Stephen DeVay, chair, Monroe County Democratic Committee: “What I will lean into is that we had an unusual situation where Margot had a medical situation happen and could no longer run. She had to suspend her campaign.”

Brean: “Down in Long Island.”

DeVay: “Her seat in Long Island.”

Garant was a long-time mayor and was running for town supervisor of Brookhaven, Long Island. But after she got on the ballot in June, she suffered a stroke and told her supporters she had to “withdraw from the race.”

But it’s nearly impossible to get a name off a ballot in New York. You either have to die, move out of state, or run for a different office. So that’s why this Long Island ex-mayor appears to be running for Supreme Court justice here.

DeVay: “We didn’t have the candidates. We had the opportunity to help someone else who was in need and we took the opportunity to help them.”

This is an election of very few choices. Our stories have shown you that for the first time in 30 years, there is no contest for district attorney. It’s the first time in three decades the Democratic Party has no candidate.

We also showed you that 13 of the 18 town supervisor races are uncontested. All but two have no Democratic candidate.

There is a new Democrat on the ballot for Brookhaven supervisor in Long Island. That only happened when Margot Garant’s name got put on the ballot for judge here.

Although Democrats outnumber Republicans in Monroe County, there’s no Democratic candidate for district attorney. (Photo: Berkeley Brean/WHEC)