In a close vote, the Dutchess County Democratic Committee voted to endorse Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck) in the 19th Congressional District at their full county meeting on March 1.
Six candidates were nominated and considered: Pat Ryan, Gareth Rhodes, Brian Flynn, Delgado, David Clegg and Jeffrey Beals.
To prevent one candidate receiving an endorsement with a just small fraction of the overall vote, the committee elected to use Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) (also known as Instant Runoff Voting) to select the endorsee.
The final round of voting had Delgado with 51.5% of the weighted vote and Flynn with 48.5%. The final ranking was Delgado, Flynn, Ryan, Beals, Clegg and Rhodes.
Looking solely at first place votes, Delgado received 33.1%, Ryan 27.7%, Flynn 23.7%, Beals 7.5%, Clegg 4.3% and Rhodes 3.1%. Flynn had enough second and third place votes from eliminated candidates that he was able to get past Ryan and take second during the runoff.
Under RCV, voters listed the candidates in order of preference from 1 thru 6. Once submitted, the ballots were sorted to identify the candidate with the fewest number of votes. That candidate was then removed from contention and the ballots in his pile were distributed among the other candidates based on the next preferred candidate on each ballot.
That process is repeated until a candidate has more than 50% of the vote. Each committee member represents an election district and, by rule, the weight of their vote is based on how many Democratic votes came from that election district during the last gubernatorial election (2014). Only members in CD19 were eligible to cast ballots. So a member coming from a large Democratic-voting district would have more weight than one coming from a smaller, Republican-voting district.