News & Opinion » News

Bello candidacy may pay off for Dems


County Clerk Adam Bello is running for county executive, a development that'll shock hardly anyone following local politics.

Bello has risen through the local Democratic party, serving on the staff of then-Assembly member Joe Morelle's, working as the top staff member at party headquarters, twice winning election to the Irondequoit town supervisor's job, and then getting appointed to serve as Monroe County clerk, a position voters subsequently elected him to.

He's said little about his run for county exec, except to acknowledge it. He has appeared before several suburban and city Democratic committees, and some have said he got their designation. The county committee will have its full designating convention on February 13, and it'll likely put its weight behind Bello.

Democrats haven't held the county exec seat since 1991, when Tom Frey lost his reelection bid after serving one term. And Bello may provide the party with its best chance at the county exec seat since Rochester Mayor William Johnson's unsuccessful run in 2003.

Bello has shown that not only can he run a county-wide campaign, but that he can win. In the 2016 clerk's race, his opponent wasn't as well known as County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, the Republican he'll probably face off against. But Bello has maintained a steady public presence over the past two-plus years, which will help him compete.

He also appears to have broad support within the party, and members seem generally enthusiastic about his run. Democrats also have a sizeable enrollment advantage in Monroe County, though traditionally Republicans have been better at turning voters out. But if Democrats remain as energized as they were in 2018, Bello and the party may finally benefit from that edge.