WXXI AM News

2019 Monroe County elections

On Election Night, Adam Bello became the first Democrat to be elected Monroe County Executive in nearly 30 years. His victory spurred immediate reaction from the Republican-controlled County Legislature, which introduced a measure that sought to limit his authority. That measure has since been withdrawn.

Bello joins us in studio to discuss his victory, the recent controversy, how he plans to work with the Republican Party, and how he will approach his first year in office. In studio:

We examine the impact of a historic night in Monroe County politics. Democrats have won the top seat in the county for the first time in three decades, but they fell one seat short of taking control of the County Legislature.

We sit down with the two Democrats who flipped seats to discuss how they plan to work with Republicans on priorities like taxes, child care, and more. In studio: 

It looks like the new Democratic Monroe County Executive may have to contend with a Republican majority in the County Legislature, but the GOP will have a narrow margin in that body.

Unofficial results show the Republicans with a 15 to 14 seat majority over the Democrats.  (they had a 17 - 12 majority, previously).

At least one race,  the 13th legislative district, was very close on Tuesday night, with Democrat Michael Yudelson leading Republican Matthew Borkowski by 45 votes.

Here is the list of apparent winners in the 29-seat legislature:

Tuesday is Election Day, and in New York state there are no statewide contests in what is often referred to as an “off-year" election since there is no presidential election (that’s next year), or mid-term congressional elections. 2020 will see contests that also include those for Congress, and the NYS Legislature.

But there are plenty of local races in area counties, including in Monroe County, where the race for County Executive between incumbent Republican Cheryl Dinolfo, and challenger Adam Bello, the Democrat who is currently County Clerk, has gotten the most attention.

April Franklin / WXXI News

New York ‘s first early voting period ended over the weekend, and voters in Monroe County were among thousands to cast their ballot before Tuesday’s general election. The early voting began Oct. 26 and continued through Sunday, Nov. 3.

Among the local voters was  Terrance Schmitz of Rochester. Schmitz says he would not have been able to vote this year without the early option.

James Brown / WXXI

With Election Day looming and facing a spirited challenge, Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo on Thursday revealed a budget for next year that includes a new property tax rate cut.

The county property tax rate would fall by 10 cents -- to $8.79 per $1,000 of assessed value -- under her budget. The spending plan requires approval by the County Legislature, which has historically adopted the county executive’s budget with few, if any, modifications.

We’re joined by the two candidates running for Monroe County District Attorney. Republican DA Sandra Doorley is seeking reelection. Her opponent is Democrat Shani Curry Mitchell, who most recently worked in the Monroe County DA’s Office. It’s an opportunity to hear from both candidates at length, as they discuss a range of issues and answer our questions and yours.

You can also watch this conversation on Facebook Live. In studio:

We continue our series of conversations with candidates for elected office prior to Election Day. This hour, we sit down with candidates for State Supreme Court Justice. Three candidates are vying for two seats. We talk with the candidates about their platforms, priorities, and work on the bench.

In studio:

*Note: The third candidate, Matthew Rosenbaum, was invited to join this conversation, but declined.

Voters routinely say that they have no idea what to think of judicial candidates. We sit down with candidates for judgeships at the county level, talking about their qualifications and their views on the job. In particular, we talk about balancing justice for victims with goals of rehabilitating offenders, and we discuss the opioid crisis and the role of the courts.

There are four candidates for two seats. In studio: