By Lisa Dumas –
Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle has won the Democratic nomination for the 25th Congressional District seat that was previously held by the late Louise Slaughter.
Morelle won the party’s primary by 45 percent.
In addition, Brighton Town Board Member Robin Wilt, former WROC-TV news anchor and mayoral candidate Rachel Barnhart, and Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden also vied for the position.
Barnhart came in second, receiving 20 percent of the vote, while Wilt and McFadden each received 17 percent.
“Fourteen percent was our voter turnout in the city yesterday,” McFadden stated on Facebook. “We have work to do.”
McFadden also offered Morelle congratulations via Facebook, stating, “We left it on the field, as they say in football. Well done Joe Morelle.”
Barnhart also congratulated Morelle on the win, but still commented via Twitter, “This wasn’t unexpected. I have some experience running against machine candidates. A majority of voters rejected the big money candidate. This is why it was imperative to have choice. Adam, Robin and I were always going to have trouble reaching voters.”
One of the first candidates to formally announce his bid for the seat, Morelle has garnered support from several local Democrats, including friends of McFadden’s like Mayor Lovely Warren and Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott.
He had also been longtime friends with Congresswoman Slaughter.
“Tonight is the first step in a long battle to reclaim the soul of our country,” Morelle said. “This year’s mid-term election, I’ve told groups over and over again, is, in my opinion, the most important mid-term election in our country’s history. We have much work to do. We have issues that we have to confront in Washington and across this country. I think that voters tonight basically said, in a resounding way, that they think that the experience that I have, and the record of delivering results in this community, is necessary to get things done in Washington.
Morelle will face Republican candidate and neurosurgeon Jim Maxwell for the seat in November.