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Sabrina Lamar’s Loss, the End of an Era?

Sabrina LaMar and Rose Bonnick

Critics of Monroe County Legislature President Sabrina LaMar praised voters for overwhelmingly choosing Rose Bonnick in the battle for District 27.

The embattled President found herself on opposite party lines after she agreed to caucus with the GOP. This decision may be one of many reasons the first Black female president of the Monroe County Legislature was on the losing end of the voting poll.

At the time President LaMar stated, "I want to be very clear, because I know others will try to speak for me -- I have always been a Democrat, I remain a Democrat and I don't intend to ever be anything but a Democrat. However, I am not afraid to reach across the aisle to deliver results for my constituents. I represent a district that is largely African American and one with a significant number of residents in poverty and I sincerely believe I can best serve my neighbors as the President of the Legislature."

The history-making moment received little support. Unfortunately, it created a long list of political enemies including County Executive Adam Bello.

Bello accused LaMar of playing political games.

“President LaMar and her Republicans allies are holding community ARPA funds hostage by refusing to vote on this item unless she gets to hand $40 million to her friends, and to projects and agencies that did not receive money under our transparent, deliberative process,” Bello said at the time. “Providing money to all of these projects would be outside of the procurement process and in violation of federal law, jeopardizing our ability to access all $144 million in ARPA funding, something President LaMar would have known if she engaged with the administration during this process.”

The backlash opened the window for newcomer Rose Bonnick to slaughter LaMar in the primary election. Bonnick received more than 63% of the votes.

"With 1/3 of votes counted, Monroe County Legislature President and Republicans-caucus Sabrina LaMar is losing badly to Rose Bonnick, 35% to 65%," Democrat & Chronicle reporter Justin Murphy tweeted.

Bonnick and her supporters didn't take long to post the victory on social media.

"Last night was definitely a night to remember. It was a culmination of months of hard work, knocking on doors and talking to voters. When I entered this race, I did so because there was a need in the district that was waiting to be filled; and I believed I was the one who could help fill it, I am encouraged by the level of voter support I received. That speaks volumes. To all the people who supported my campaign, thank you for your time, talent and donations. I especially want to thank my 3 beautiful children. You inspire me everyday to be my best self," Bonnick, the likely next Monroe County Legislator posted.

Bonnick's employer and friend Senator Jeremy Cooney posted, "What a night! I can't stop smiling. Through hard work and true blue dedication, my longtime friend and Team Cooney member, Rose Bonnick, won the Democratic primary for Monroe County Legislature, District 27. Congratulations!"

Other supporters like Monroe County Legislator Mercedes Vazquez Simmons posted, "Congratulations in order tonight for Rose Bonnick who heartily defeated the current seated President of the Monroe County Legislature! Join me in wishing Rose the best on this significant and monumental victory!"

And former acting Public Defender Jill Paperno, who many believe was ousted by LaMar during her bid for Public Defender commented, "Congratulations Rose! So looking forward to your work as a County Legislator! And you will be joining such a great company with Legislator Vazquez-Simmons!"

The defeat may be surprising to some. But political insiders like radio host Bob Lonsberry believe the end of an era has arrived. The controversial newsman tweeted, "Losses by Sabrina Lamar and Vince Felder ended that reign, a Lovely candidate fell, Democratic Socialists did poorly, City Council's NW district swung left, Brighton rejected Wilt's ticket, Hat Man lost school board, and Rachel Barnhart survived."


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