Jamie Romeo has been appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to fill in the vacant position of Monroe County Clerk through the rest of this year.
That clerk position became vacant as of January 1 when Romeo’s fellow Democrat, Adam Bello, took office as Monroe County Executive.
Romeo, who currently is a member of the New York state Assembly representing the 136th district, said the opportunity was too good to pass up. She had already announced that she is a candidate for the position.
— x-James A. Brown (@jamesbrowntv) February 6, 2020
“If we did not have the vacancy and it was in a different universe where Adam Bello was still county clerk I likely would not be primarying him,” said Romeo. “But this being a new unique opportunity given the value and passion I have for county government for me I thought it was one of those gut check opportunities where I thought I could really serve the community in this capacity.”
The appointment could help give Romeo an advantage in a primary in June and in the general election in November.
In December, Jennifer Boutte also announced that she is a candidate for the county clerk’s position. Boutte is now Director of Development and Community Engagement for CDS Life Transitions.
In a statement Boutte said that Monroe County’s top offices need more diversity including geographically. Both Bello and Romeo are from Irondequoit.
"Certainly the Governor’s appointment is his decision. Being that we live in such a diverse County and leadership is not comprised of the same level of diversity—not to mention geographical diversity, it further proves that we have a problem that is systemic,” said Boutte. “I am not fighting to win votes against Jamie, I am fighting against a system that was structured for candidates such as myself to fail, leaving voters without a choice. I have gained a great deal of County-wide supporters since announcing my candidacy, resulting in my ability to enter the race and gain 43% of the Democratic Committee votes; further proving that voters would like a choice. On February 25th, we are going to begin petitioning in an effort to move forward with the Primary."
On Thursday, Cuomo released a statement saying that Romeo “is a true public servant and forceful advocate for Monroe County.” And Romeo’s statement said that she has, “an ambitious vision for the County Clerk’s Office” and is confident that working with partners in government, such as Adam Bello, that they can “continue to pull back the veil that has hidden county government from the residents it serves for far too long.”
Adam Bello said he considered Romeo a friend and considers the job a good fit for her.
“I think she’s going to make a fantastic county clerk. I thought so all the long as someone I trust and I’ve known for a long time and I think Monroe County residents are going to be very proud to be able to work with her,” said Bello. “We’re going to be able to work very closely together with the county clerk’s office and see that the whole county government is firing on all cylinders to serve our residents.”
There is no word yet from the governor’s office on when Romeo’s Assembly seat might be filled. A special election is possible but that is Cuomo’s prerogative.
Jaclyn Richard, Sarah Clarke, and County Legislator Justin Wilcox have all announced their campaigns for the 136th district seat. Richard is the former president of the local chapter of the National Organization for Women announced their campaigns for the 136th assembly seat late last year. Clark is the head of former Senator Hillary Clinton's Rochester office and now serves as deputy state director for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.