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Two Democrat candidates fighting for top spot in 138th Assembly District



It’s the seat in the New York State Assembly that represents parts of the City of Rochester, Henrietta and Chili.

For ten years, Democrat Harry Bronson has served as the 138th District Assemblyman, but this year he’s being challenged by Democrat Alex Yudelson in a primary race.

Yudelson is Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren’s Chief of Staff.

One of the biggest issues dividing the two candidates is the Rochester City School District – specifically, who should run it and how.

Yudelson says he believes it’s time to get rid of the current Rochester School Board, after ten years and seven superintendents, in addition to millions of dollars in budget deficit.

“This is a choice between the status quo and the real transformational change that this district needs,” said Yudelson. “It’s been an issue of the school board and their micromanagement of the district, the way they run superintendents out of town, overspend budgets by millions of dollars.”

“It’s time that the state works with the superintendent to really let her run the district, work with the parents, work with the teachers to rebuild the system. I think that’s necessary for a period of three to five years, and then we can give it back to the voters,” Yudelson said.

Bronson, however, says that’s a bad idea and that there’s no proven track record to indicate that it would work. Instead, Bronson wants to let the district monitor, recently approved by the state, work with the existing school board on academic and financial reform.

“My opponent has no plan. He says take it over, let the state take it over, remove the school board and put in Albany bureaucrats,” said Bronson. He believes the monitor will be able to work with the school board without interference from Albany.

“The person who was appointed is a person of color, which is very important in the Rochester City School District. The person appointed also has an enormous amount of expertise and experience in turning around troubled schools,” Bronson said.

As for money for the 138th District, Yudelson claims his opponent hasn’t fought for Rochester in the state budget.

“Buffalo has the Buffalo Billion, the second Buffalo Billion, and we don’t get our fair share of resources in Rochester,” said Yudelson.

Bronson listed more than a dozen projects passed during his time in office, saying he’s been successful in his 10 years in the State Assembly, fighting for money for Rochester.

“Let’s talk about the Upstate Revitalization Program of $500 million dollars,” said Bronson. “That will translate into $2.5 billion dollars in private investments. I have delivered over and over again, billions of dollars for this area.”

Yudelson won the endorsement from the Monroe County Democratic Committee.

Whichever candidate wins the primary election will face Republican Peter Vazquez in November.