The Monroe County Democratic Committee designation process is the ultimate insider game. It is a battle of two party factions who have been at odds for decades. This process has picked the eventual winner only once in the last four contested mayoral races. I’ve participated in the process out of respect for the party, to speak with committee members and for the chance to engage with my opponents.

Warren is a sitting mayor, and it would be a huge repudiation for her not to get her own party’s nod. Sheppard, who spent the last three years trying to stack committees to rig the insider game, went in as the presumed designee, hoping the designation would cement his frontrunner status.

It now appears Warren will be the party’s designee. This would be a significant blow to Sheppard’s campaign. He is a nice, sincere man who cares about this community, but primary voters have real concerns about certain aspects from his years as police chief. The fact he didn’t vote from 1981 to 2013 is also a significant problem for voters in the Democratic Primary Election. It’s become more and more apparent at public forums that he cannot beat Warren.

As I said, the fight between Warren and Sheppard for the designation is a fight between two decades-old factions of the party elite. I’m proud to be a party outsider who is not a member of either side. I believe strongly that the only way to rebuild the local Democratic Party is to elect people who are not part of either faction. I look forward to real contest ahead –the contest for votes of city Democrats.

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