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Mark Johns wins over Mike DiTullio in Monroe County's 8th District

Composite photo of candidates
Photos provided
Mike DiTullio, left, and Mark Johns.

Republican incumbent Mark Johns will finish out his first term in the Monroe County Legislature representing the 8th District, which covers Webster. Johns’ victory ensures the GOP will continue to control the county Legislature.

According to unofficial results from the Monroe County Board of Elections, Johns pulled in about 56% of the votes. His Democratic opponent, teacher Mike DiTullio, received roughly 44% of the votes.

Johns and DiTullio were running to fill the term of Republican Matthew Terp, who resigned from the Legislature for health-related reasons earlier this year. Johns was appointed to take Terp’s place and will keep his seat after Tuesday’s election.

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Johns is a retired county Department of Health worker who specialized in environmental health. He served in the Assembly in the 135th District for a decade beginning in 2011, before being defeated by Democrat Jen Lunsford in the 2020 general election.

A term limits supporter, Johns sees himself as a moderate whose utmost concerns are preventing “career politicians” from staying in one place for too long and putting critical policy issues to a public referendum.

He also supports chopping the size of the County Legislature from 29 seats to 15. Monroe County is an outlier in the size of its legislative body. The four counties in New York with larger populations than Monroe, excluding the five counties that make up New York City, each have smaller legislatures.

Johns wants legislators to be more proactive in setting a legislative agenda, rather than simply playing a supporting role to the county executive, which had been the body’s routine for decades.

DiTullio was drawn to run for office by the fractious national political atmosphere, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on abortion and gun control laws. He considers himself a moderate as well and calls himself “a reasonable Democrat” who would have been willing to reach across the aisle. He said he thinks government’s role is to invest in its citizenry.

DiTullio’s run, he said, was also a teaching tool for his students at Thomas High School in Webster. He said he wanted to run, in part, to show his students how to stand up for their beliefs and participate in the democratic system.

Jeremy Moule is a deputy editor with WXXI News. He also covers Monroe County.
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