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Morelle to step down as county chairman

Rochester Business Journal
April 22, 2014

Monroe County Democratic Committee chairman Joseph Morelle will step down from that position when his present term expires this year, he announced Tuesday.

Morelle, D-Irondequoit, is the 136th District representative to the state Assembly. He will not seek re-election as county chairman because of growing responsibilities as Assembly majority leader, he said.

“I have come to realize that the rigors of my work representing the people in Albany, my duties as majority leader and the responsibilities of leading my party will eventually require compromises I am unwilling to make,” Morelle said in a statement.

Morelle was elected MCDC chairman in June 2005, replacing Richard Dollinger. Dollinger, who replaced Molly Clifford five months earlier, left after being elected town justice in Brighton.

“I’ll never forget the first day,” he said in an interview this month with the Rochester Business Journal. “When I became chairman, I had $120 in the bank and $12,000 of unpaid bills.”

A fundraiser last month raised $500,000 for the county committee, Morelle said.

“We’re in a much different place financially,” he told the RBJ. “It’s the best we’ve ever been. We’re starting to attract high-quality candidates.”

County Democrats have raised $5.5 million for operations and local campaigns during Morelle’s nine years as chairman, party leaders say. Enrollment in the party has increased by 40,000, with county Democrats outnumbering Republicans 174,660 to 128,992 in 2014.

“I will continue to be an advocate for the people of Rochester and Monroe County through my work as Assembly majority leader,” Morelle said in the statement.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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