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Romeo appointed Monroe County clerk

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Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed Jamie Romeo, who represents the 136th Assembly district, to fill the vacant Monroe County clerk seat. The move comes days after the county Democratic Committee endorsed her for the seat in November’s election.

Romeo, who is 34 and lives in Irondequoit, said she will resign from her Assembly seat by the end of the week and shortly after will be sworn in as clerk. She was elected in 2018.

The governor can call a special election to fill the seat, though a news release from his office gave no indication whether he plans to do so.

Romeo announced in December that she would run for clerk instead of seeking re-election to her Assembly seat. The clerk position went vacant at the start of the year when Democrat Adam Bello began his term as county executive.

During a news conference Thursday, Romeo said that, like her predecessor, she’ll work with office staff to review operations and see if there are things they need improvement.

With a fellow Democrat in the county executive’s office, she sees potential for the clerk’s office to partner with other branches of county government. For example, she said, if a person comes in to the clerk’s office for a small business filing, staff could also direct that person to the county’s economic development department and its programs.



“County government is such a large enterprise and there’s ways that we can really find that intersection of meeting constituents needs when they get here.”

Romeo expects that the office will also see a bump in transactions due to the federal Real ID laws coming into effect. The law will require many residents to get new driver’s licenses or identification documents in order to board flights or access federal facilities.

“More residents are going to be coming in already so there’s going to be more opportunities to create that positive change that county government can have,” Romeo said

During the county Democrats’ designation process for the clerk’s seat, Romeo faced a challenge from Jennifer Boutte, the director of development and community engagement for CDS Life Transitions.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Boutte confirmed that she'll primary Romeo. Her statement follows:

"Certainly the Governor’s appointment is his decision. Being that we live in such a diverse County and leadership is not comprised of the same level of diversity—not to mention geographical diversity, it further proves that we have a problem that is systemic. I am not fighting to win votes against Jamie, I am fighting against a system that was structured for candidates such as myself to fail, leaving voters without a choice. I have gained a great deal of county-wide supporters since announcing my candidacy, resulting in my ability to enter the race and gain 43 percent of the Democratic Committee votes; further proving that voters would like a choice. On February 25th, we are going to begin petitioning in an effort to move forward with the primary."

Jeremy Moule is CITY's news editor. He can be reached at jmoule@rochester-citynews.com.