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County exec race will be Dinolfo versus Bello


County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo has received the Republican Party's official backing for her reelection bid, and Democrats have designated County Clerk Adam Bello as their candidate against her. Both parties made the designations during their conventions Wednesday night, officially solidifying the match up that many in local politics and media have expected for a couple of years.

District Attorney Sandra Doorley, a Republican who first won the seat eight years ago when she ran as the Democratic candidate, will face a challenge from Democrat Shani Curry Mitchell, a prosecutor with 13 years' experience; a Rochester native, Curry Mitchell started her career working in Atlanta at the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, and spent the last five years working as an assistant district attorney in the Monroe County District Attorney's Office. She left the DA's office a few months ago and is now working in the City of Rochester's law department.

During the Monroe County Democratic Committee's meeting, Bello and Curry Mitchell hit on a similar theme. Both laid out the shortcomings of their opponents, as they saw them, and both promised to better meet the needs of the people they serve.

"It's time for a new way and new leadership in county government," Bello said.

And Curry Mitchell said the county needs "a new way of thinking about justice," one where it's smarter on crime, not harder on it.

To go along with the two offices for countywide positions, the party designated a full slate of County Legislature candidates. All 29 legislature seats are up for election this year. Already at least one Democratic primary is shaping up, though. In the 23rd District, which covers parts of southeast Rochester and a sliver of Brighton, the committees designated Linda Hasman as the candidate last night, but this morning Scotty Ginett posted on his website that he plans to run a primary.

MCDC Chair and Executive Director Brittaney Wells opened last night's meeting with some brief remarks, clearly meant to fire up the crowd that had gathered at the downtown Holiday Inn. Tonight, she said, will be the night the party begins the process of taking back control of county government.

"We are all here united," Wells said, and a "united Democratic Party will be impossible to beat."

But a few of the city seats went to a second round of balloting, indicating that not all committee members and leaders are on the same page.

The four seats up for election on the Rochester City School Board drew a crowded field, and only current board member Judith Davis crossed the necessary vote threshold to get the designation in the first round of balloting. After the second round, Howard Eagle, Anthony Hall, and Amy Maloy secured the designation.

Davis was the only incumbent school board member to earn the party's designation. That means that Willa Powell and Beatriz LeBron have to collect petitions and run primaries if they want to remain on the board. The same is true of the other candidates who sought the school board designation.

Melissa Barrett, whom Mayor Lovely Warren appointed to former Judge Leticia Astacio's City Court seat, got the designation to run for the seat during the first round of city committee balloting. She was one of six candidates for two available seats. During the second round, all of the committee leaders threw their votes to Mark Muoio, a county legislator and director of the Legal Aid Society of Rochester's Housing and Consumer Law Unit.

Aaron Frazier, an attorney at Harris Beach, said in a Facebook post this morning that he intends to run a primary. City School Board President Van White, who works as an attorney and sought the designation, also says he plans to run a primary.

The designated City Council candidates all received enough votes during their respective legislative district committee meetings that no additional voting was needed Wednesday night, though most face at least the prospect of a primary challenge. The designated City Council candidates are:
  • Mary Lupien, East District;
  • Michael Patterson, the incumbent Northeast District member;
  • LaShana Boose, Northwest District;
  • Adam McFadden, the incumbent South District member.
This post has been updated.