The Erie Democratic Party is seeing a shift in support as they unanimously voted to censure County Councilman James (Jim) Winarski.

Erie County Democratic Party Chairman, Jim Wertz, said that as far as he’s aware, the party in Erie County has never taken this level of action against a sitting elected official.

Erie democrats have condemned party member and County Councilman James Winarski.

Winarski was elected in 2021 to the County Council’s 4th District.

While the announcement doesn’t impact Winarski as things stand, the chair of the Democratic Party in Erie hopes it will educate voters when the seat it up for election again in 2025.

In his time as councilman, Wertz said that Winarski’s actions have not aligned with party goals.

“There were several members of our committee who had concerns and had heard concerns from democrats outside of the committee as well about Mr. Winarski’s voting history not only on leadership, but also no policy issues including the dei commission, including the dispersement of ARP funds,” said Jim Wertz, Erie County Democratic Party Chair.

Wertz said that this all came to a head when he sided with a republican minority in county council to nominate Brian Shank for Council President for a second term.

Wertz said that Winarski has voted with a minority of republicans several times which has shaped the way that council has voted.

Wertz added that the whole point of any given party holding a majority in a council is to control the agenda, something that hasn’t happened despite a democratic majority.

“When Mr. Winarski voted against members of his own party and with members of the minority, that was kind of the last straw here, explained Jim Wertz.

Erie County Council’s District Three Representative Mary Rennie commented on the matter saying:

“As the legislative body, county council needs to work together in 2023 to live up to its responsibilities. That includes being independent from the administration in setting and overseeing the budget, not only for the best economic outcomes but also so that the interests of Erie County taxpayers are protected.”

Winarski had no statement to make at this time.