WXXI AM News

Jamie Romeo wins 136th Assembly District seat

Sep 13, 2018

For the first time since 1990, someone other than Joe Morelle will represent the 136th Assembly District, and it will be Jamie Romeo.

The chairwoman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee fended off bids by Todd Grady and Jaclyn Richard, and with no Republican challenger in November, she will assume the seat on Jan. 2.

The 136th Assembly District includes Irondequoit, Brighton, and the east side of Rochester.

Supporters cheered on Romeo as soon as the race was called from Murph's Pub in Irondequoit.

With notable local democrats such as Irondequoit Town Supervisor Dave Seeley, Assemblyman Harry Bronson and her seats predecessor Joe Morelle standing behind her, Romeo thanked her family and supporters.

"To the voters of this district, thank you for your confidence and the overwhelming vote of support in trying to step in into this next role, being the state assembly member of this district."

Romeo says people are ready to see government get back to the business of governing.

"And that’s certainly one of the things that I have learned from all my years working with this amazing group of people right here and that’s the tradition and the honor I want to carry in this district and that legacy, and i am very honored and humbled to continue to do that."

Romeo was named executive director of the Monroe County Democratic Committee in January 2015 and was elected as chairwoman six months later. She was chief of staff for state Sen. Ted O’Brien.

Former journalist Todd Grady says he is proud of his campaign, but expressed concern over how he thinks the party establishment influenced the race. He says it is difficult for candidates who do not have the support of party leadership.

"I'll point back to the petition process because the party candidate has the advantage of committee people going door to door and petitioning on their behalf," Grady said. "All credit goes to people who have served on committees and have volunteered for years. But I just think that it's really important that the candidate, he or himself or herself, get to the door."

Morelle decided to not seek re-election, instead embarking on a bid to replace Congresswoman Louise Slaughter after she died in March. Morelle won a four-way race in the Democratic congressional primary in June.

Video (from WXXI Videographer Katie Epner) of the current 136th Dist. Assemblyman, Joe Morelle, introducing Jamie Romeo, apparent winner of the Democratic Primary: