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Joseph D. Morelle (born April 29, 1957)[1] is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for New York's 25th congressional district since 2018. A Democrat, he was formerly a member of the New York State Assembly representing the 136th Assembly District, which includes eastern portions of the City of Rochester and the Monroe County suburbs of Irondequoit and Brighton. Speaker Sheldon Silver appointed him as Majority Leader of the New York State Assembly in January 2013 and Morelle served as Acting Speaker in the Speaker's absence.[2] He was elected to the United States House of Representatives for New York's 25th congressional district in November 2018 following the death of longtime Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.

Joe Morelle
Joe Morelle official photo (cropped 2).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 25th district
Assumed office
November 13, 2018
Preceded byLouise Slaughter
Majority Leader of the New York Assembly
In office
January 1, 2013 – November 13, 2018
Preceded byRonald Canestrari
Succeeded byCrystal Peoples-Stokes
Acting Speaker of the New York State Assembly
In office
February 2, 2015 – February 3, 2015
Preceded bySheldon Silver
Succeeded byCarl Heastie
Member of the New York Assembly
from the 136th district
In office
January 1, 1991 – November 13, 2018
Preceded byPinny Cooke
Succeeded byJamie Romeo
Personal details
Born (1957-04-29) April 29, 1957 (age 62)
Utica, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Mary Beth Bauer (m. 1984)
Children3
EducationState University of New York, Geneseo (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Early life and educationEdit

Morelle was born in Utica, New York, and grew up in the town of Irondequoit, where he attended Eastridge High School.[3] He went on to receive a bachelor's degree in political science from SUNY Geneseo[3] in 1986.[1]

In his early years, he was a sales manager for a drycleaning and laundry business.[4] He got his political start working for State Senator John D. Perry as a constituent services representative in Rochester and legislative aide in Albany.[5]

Political careerEdit

County legislatureEdit

Morelle, a Democrat, made his first foray into elective politics at the age of 24 when he ran for a seat in the Monroe County legislature.[6] He failed to unseat the incumbent on the first try, but prevailed in the 1983 election.[7] He was re-elected once before running for the New York State legislature.[8]

State legislatureEdit

 
In 2009 with Garth Fagan, James Alesi, and Nazareth College president Daan Braveman
 
Marching on Independence Day in 2011
 
In 2014 with Kathy Hochul

Morelle was first elected to the State Assembly in 1990.[3] He ran uncontested in the November 2008 general election[9][10] and won the November 2010 general election with 61 percent of the vote.[11][12]

During his tenure in the State Legislature, among the more than 200 laws authored by Morelle are major reforms to the workers compensation system, laws to require carbon monoxide detectors in one- and two-family homes, toughen regulations governing charitable organizations, protect the elderly and infirm who live in nursing homes or receive home based health care, and raise senior citizens' real property tax exemption. Morelle sponsored bills to exempt veterans from certain state licensing fees, protect their gravesites, and assist them with regard to the civil service application process.

In January 2001, Morelle was appointed the Chairman of the Assembly Standing Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Sports Development. He worked with area leaders to develop Rochester as a center for tourism and the arts in Western New York.[citation needed]

In addition to the Tourism Committee, Morelle's standing committee assignments included Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry; Higher Education; Local Governments; and Libraries and Education Technology. At his request, the Speaker created the Subcommittee on Manufacturing in order to give New York's manufacturing sector a greater voice in state government.

In 2005, Morelle issued a report, "Creating a State of Innovation: Unleashing The Power of New York's Entrepreneurial Economy," detailing New York's economic decline, particularly in Upstate, and offering numerous policy recommendations to reverse this years-long trend.

In 2005, Morelle was elected chairman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee,[13] and held this position until 2014.

Campaign violationsEdit

In 1990, an acting state Supreme Court justice ruled that Morelle fraudulently obtained several signatures on nominating petitions to qualify him for an independent line on the 1990 ballot (New York permits cross-filing in some circumstances) during his run for the State Assembly.[5] Morelle remained on the ballot and won the election.[14] He later admitted that he allowed family members to sign the petitions for the individuals whose names appeared on them and did not personally witness the signatures, both of which are illegal.[14] In 1991 he was charged with seven misdemeanor counts of violating state election law.[14] Morelle denied intentionally violating the law, but accepted a plea bargain in which he was found guilty of two counts of disorderly conduct.[14] He was sentenced to 32 hours of community service and a $25 fine.[14] Because disorderly conduct is a violation of the law, rather than a misdemeanor or felony, Morelle's guilty plea enabled him to avoid having a permanent criminal record as a result of the incident.[14]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

ElectionsEdit

2018 special electionEdit

After the death of Representative Louise Slaughter, Morelle announced he was a Democratic candidate for New York's 25th congressional district; he won the Democratic Party's nomination on June 26, 2018.[15] On November 6 he ran in two elections–a special election for the last two months of Slaughter's 16th term, and a regular election for a full two-year term. He won both, defeating Republican Jim Maxwell.[16]

TenureEdit

Morelle was sworn in on November 13, 2018.

Committee assignmentsEdit

Caucus membershipsEdit

Electoral HistoryEdit

Democratic primary results[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph Morelle 16,245 45.63%
Democratic Rachel A. Barnhart 7,003 19.67%
Democratic Robin Wilt 6,158 17.30%
Democratic Adam McFadden 6,103 17.14%
New York's 25th congressional district special election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Joseph Morelle 141,290 58.29% +2.10%
Republican Jim Maxwell 101,085 41.71% -2.10%
Total votes 242,375 100.0% N/A
Democratic hold
Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph Morelle 16,245 45.7
Democratic Rachel Barnhart 7,003 19.7
Democratic Robin Wilt 6,158 17.3
Democratic Adam McFadden 6,103 17.2
Total votes 35,509 100.0
New York's 25th congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph Morelle 147,979 54.8
Independence Joseph Morelle 4,585 1.7
Working Families Joseph Morelle 4,575 1.7
Women's Equality Joseph Morelle 2,105 0.8
Total Joseph Morelle 159,244 59.0
Republican Jim Maxwell 91,342 33.8
Conservative Jim Maxwell 17,781 6.6
Reform Jim Maxwell 1,613 0.6
Total Jim Maxwell 110,736 41.0
Total votes 269,980 100.0
Democratic hold

Personal lifeEdit

He lives in Irondequoit with his wife, Mary Beth.[3] They have three children:[3] Lauren, Joseph Junior, and Nicholas.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Assembly Member Joseph D. Morelle (NY)". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
  2. ^ McKinley, Jesse; Kaplan, Thomas; Craig, Susanne (January 27, 2015). "Sheldon Silver to Be Replaced as Speaker of New York State Assembly". New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Assembly District 132, Joseph D. Morelle: Biography". New York State Assembly. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
  4. ^ "Morelle Narrowly Wins Over Ogden", Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York, pp. 8A, November 11, 1990
  5. ^ a b Hand, Jon (January 28, 2015). "Timeline on Joseph Morelle's career". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, NY.
  6. ^ "GOP Keeps Control of County Legislature", Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York, pp. 2A, November 4, 1981
  7. ^ "Democrats Gain 2 Seats in Legislature", Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York, pp. 3A, November 9, 1983
  8. ^ "Morelle Defeats His Challenger", Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York, pp. 3A, November 4, 1987
  9. ^ "Election Results 2008: New York State Legislature". The New York Times. 2008. Archived from the original on May 11, 2012.
  10. ^ "Assembly Election Returns: November 4, 2008" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 23, 2012.
  11. ^ "Election Results 2010: New York State Legislature". The New York Times. 2010. Archived from the original on June 15, 2012.
  12. ^ "Assembly Election Returns: November 2, 2010" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 18, 2013.
  13. ^ "Morelle Officially Seeks Chair", Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York, pp. 2A, May 27, 2005
  14. ^ a b c d e f Venere, Emil (January 23, 1992). "Morelle Pleads Guilty in Election-Law Violations". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, NY. p. 1B – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Assemblyman Joseph Morelle to run for Louise Slaughter's congressional seat". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  16. ^ "Joe Morelle defeats Jim Maxwell for Louise Slaughter's seat". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  17. ^ "Monroe County Board of Elections Canvassing Book 2018" (PDF). Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  18. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/new-york-house-district-25

External linksEdit

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Pinny Cooke
Member of the New York Assembly
from the 132nd district

1991–2012
Succeeded by
Phil Palmesano
Preceded by
Phil Palmesano
Member of the New York Assembly
from the 136th district

2013–2018
Succeeded by
Jamie Romeo
Preceded by
Ronald Canestrari
Majority Leader of the New York Assembly
2013–2018
Succeeded by
Crystal Peoples-Stokes
Political offices
Preceded by
Sheldon Silver
Speaker of the New York Assembly
Acting

2015
Succeeded by
Carl Heastie
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Louise Slaughter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 25th congressional district

2018–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Kevin Hern
United States Representatives by seniority
341st
Succeeded by
Mary Gay Scanlon