ITHACA, N.Y. — The Tompkins County Democratic Committee is voting for the party’s District Attorney nominee Thursday night, meaning that the votes of no more than 156 people will be a major factor in determining who the next DA will be.

Acting District Attorney Andrew Bonavia and local attorneys Matt Van Houten and Edward Kopko are all vying for the position as Democrats.

The county Republicans and Independence party have not announced nominees for the race.

Kathy Zahler, director of communications for the committee, said the meeting will be closed to the public, but explained the voting process.

The committee is comprised of 156 voting members and 79 people must be present for there to be a quorum.

Each candidate if formally nominated by a member and then seconded by another member. Both people nominating the candidate can briefly speak about their nominee.

Then, the candidates will then have the opportunity to address the committee before voting commences.

Each person is given one paper ballot for the vote and proxy voting will be permitted for those who cannot attend the meeting.

The nominee must win 50 percent of the vote. If no candidate wins the percentage, then the two people with the most votes runoff against each other and another round of voting is cast.

The winner will go on to be the Democratic nominee for DA in November.

No primary was held for the position after former District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson left the position early due to health issues.

Related: Tompkins DA reflects on leaving public office after more than 10 years; talks drugs, child abuse

 The Ithaca Voice will be at the scene Thursday night, updating readers when the final votes are counted. 

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.