Joe Morelle Jr., the son of House Rep. Joe Morelle, has announced his intention to run for Irondequoit supervisor.
The Democrat’s declaration comes just one day after incumbent Irondequoit Supervisor David Seeley, also a Democrat, announced that he would not seek reelection.
Morelle has served as a Monroe County legislator for eight years and is also vice president of student housing for the developer Wilmorite. He’s a lifelong Irondequoit resident and lives in the town with his wife, Nicole, stepdaughter Harper, and newborn son Gabriel Joseph.
“I just felt this was an opportunity to step up and serve my community,” Morelle said during an interview Wednesday.
He said Irondequoit has been heading in a positive direction with its new library and with the town community center that’s scheduled to open later this year, and he added that he’d want to continue down a similar path as supervisor. The town has been attracting more young families, and he believes the community center will continue to draw them in.
Morelle supports Pathstone’s senior housing project at Skyview on the Ridge, the former Medley Centre mall, and wants to see more housing that would allow the town’s seniors to age in place. He also said that the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic will “dominate conversations over the next couple of years,” and believes that partnering with the county will address some of those issues, whether it’s helping reopen restaurants or helping residents get needed assistance.
As a legislator, Morelle took particular interest in oversight of the quasi-governmental local development corporations that performed certain county functions, as well their ultimate dissolution, and the funding crisis faced by the county's child early intervention program. He also sponsored legislation that would have provided tax breaks to homeowners that installed renewable energy systems.
If elected, he would become the latest in a string of Irondequoit supervisors with ties to Rep. Morelle. Seeley, who is also a former Irondequoit Town Board member, previously worked as an adviser to the senior Morelle, who was a state Assembly member at the time.
In a news release sent out by the younger Morelle on Wednesday, Seeley endorsed him for the supervisor position.
"Joe Morelle Jr. has the experience in government and the passion for Irondequoit to continue to lead this community forward," Seeley said in a statement. "As this town continues to transform itself, we need energetic, thoughtful leaders like Joe at Town Hall. I am happy to endorse his candidacy and thank him for his willingness to serve Irondequoit."
County Executive Adam Bello preceded Seeley as supervisor and he, too, was once an aide to Morelle when he served in the Assembly. Like Seeley, Bello has endorsed the junior Morelle for the supervisor position.
“It’s been a privilege having Joe Morelle Jr. as a partner in the County Legislature, and I know he will continue to serve our community well as Town Supervisor,” read a statement from Bello. “As a former Irondequoit Supervisor myself, I have a unique understanding of what it takes to do this job. I've known Joe for most of his life and he has the passion, dedication, and skills to lead Irondequoit into the future. I am proud to endorse his candidacy and look forward to continuing our work together.”
Jeremy Moule is CITY's news editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.