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Field for 25th District Congressional seat expected to include Joe Morelle


The potential field of candidates considering a run for Congress in the 25th district is becoming more clear.

One of the most prominent names to surface on Sunday is that of Assembly Majority Leader, Joe Morelle (D-Irondequoit).  The D&C is quoting sources as saying Morelle will run for the seat left vacant with the recent death of longtime Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.

Morelle has scheduled an announcement Monday morning in Rochester.

Other Democrats considering a run include Brighton Town Board member Robin Wilt, who is quoted as saying she is is at the end of an exploratory phase of deciding whether to run for the seat. Although Wilt has not formally announced yet, she is raising money for the potential run online and reportedly is about to begin collecting petition signatures. Wilt ran previously for NYS Senate against Joe Robach in 2010.

Former local TV reporter Rachel Barnhart said she has begun collecting signatures for petitions for the Congressional seat. She says the next step is doing an analysis that will include data and issues and the final step is making a decision. Barnhart has run for Rochester Mayor and the NYS Assembly after leaving TV news.

On Sunday, Rochester School Board President Van White told WXXI News that he is also considering a run for the Congressional seat.

Another Democrat,  a political newcomer, Andrew Gilchrist recently announced he is attempting to get on the ballot.

Previously,  local neurosurgeon Dr. James Maxwell said he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for that seat.

Candidates have until April 12 to get 1,250 signatures from party members. The federal primary date is June 26.

It is not yet clear when there will be a special election to fill the remainder of Louise Slaughter’s term, which runs until the end of this year.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.