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Morelle leads Mitris in re-election bid to Congress

Joe Morelle, left, and George Mitris.
Joe Morelle, left, and George Mitris.

Rep. Joe Morelle, a Democrat, held a significant lead over his Republican challenger, George Mitris, at the close of polls on Election Day, but the race will be decided by the tens of thousands of absentee ballots yet to be counted.

With all but four election districts reporting, Morelle had 53% of the vote and a lead of about 20,000 votes.

Morelle is one of the most recognizable and influential Democrats in Monroe County politics and government, having spent more than 30 years in public office, starting in the county Legislature and working his way up to majority leader of the state Assembly.

In 2018, following the death of longtime Rep. Louise Slaughter, Morelle was elected to take over her seat in the 25th District seat. He lives in Irondequoit.

At an Election Day gathering for Democrats at the Strathallan Hotel in Rochester, Morelle said he would reserve comment on the race until all the ballots are counted.

Mitris, whose family emigrated from Greece to the United States when he was 8 years old, is a lawyer with his own practice who is making his first run for public office. The Brighton resident is a self-described conservative Republican, but he’s said several times that he’ll work across party lines and meet with practically anyone to advance solutions to local and national problems. 

On his campaign website, Mitris states that he is pro-Second Amendment, but that he backs universal background checks, improved mental health checks, and regulations on assault weapons. He notes that he supports school choice and pathways to citizenship for immigrants already in the country. He also wants to reform the country’s immigration system to make it more efficient for people trying to enter the U.S. legally.

David Andreatta is CITY's editor. He can be reached at