Singletary launches bid to unseat Morelle

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On Election Day, former Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary quietly filed as a candidate with the Federal Election Commission. Today, he publicly announced the office he is seeking: the 25th Congressional District seat held by Democratic Rep. Joe Morelle.

Singletary’s declaration comes a little more than a year after he was fired as police chief by Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren in the wake of controversy over the city police department’s handling of the Daniel Prude case. Prude died after being place in RPD custody. The Monroe County medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

La’Ron Singletary

In his bid to unseat Morelle next November, Singletary will run as a Republican. In his announcement today, he said he had been encouraged seek office by Monroe County Republican chair Bernie Iacovangelo and former state Sen. Joe Robach, a onetime Democrat who switched parties.

“In your next congressman, we need a leader who will not be afraid to speak out on important issues that impact our community,” Singletary said. “In your next congressman, we need a unifier that will work with all politicians that impact our community. As your next congressman, I will work hard for you every day just like I did when I was a police officer and police chief of this community.”

Morelle has represented the 25th District since late 2018, winning a special election after the death of longtime Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter and then a full two-year term. In both elections, he defeated GOP nominee Jim Maxwell. Morelle was re-elected in the November 2020 contest against Republican George Mitris. Before running for Congress, Morelle served in the state Assembly for nearly 30 years, including as majority leader.

Singletary, a Rochester native, joined the RPD in 2000 and rose through the ranks. He became police chief in June 2019. He described himself as a “chief for everyone,” and worked to build trust in the community.

After the Prude controversy erupted, and Warren dismissed him, Singletary said the mayor “threw me under the bus.” In September, he filed suit against Warren and the city over his firing.

In challenging Morelle, the former police chief is taking on someone who has received nearly 60 percent of the vote in each of his three congressional elections. He also is running in a district where Democrats now have a sizable advantage over Republicans among eligible voters—42 percent vs. 26 percent.

With Republicans’ strong showing on Tuesday, though many national political observers say the Democrats’ majority in the House of Representatives is at risk.

Singletary, in his announcement and in positions outlined on a campaign website, focused on mainstream issues such as the economy, public safety and education. 

“There is a huge disconnect between Washington and Main Street, and you and I are feeling the pinch,” Singletary said. “You work hard for your money, and it’s time for someone to start working hard for you. And if you elect me to be your next congressman, I promise to you I will work hard and every point of this district will have a voice and their solutions represented.”

In a statement responding to Singletary’s announcement, Morelle said “there will be a time for politics, but that day is hardly today. I remain focused on providing real solutions that hardworking families in our community deserve.”

Paul Ericson is Rochester Beacon executive editor.

8 thoughts on “Singletary launches bid to unseat Morelle

  1. As an Independent, it will be a long time before I vote for a Republican again in any election, particularly a national one, given the state of the ReTrumplican Party. I don’t care what they say about the big lie or Jan 6th.
    It is my understanding that he switched parties to run, seriously! I would have a while lot more respect for his intentions if he challenged Joe in a primary.
    I was happy to see three NYS Republicans vote for the infrastructure bill. Let’s see what happens with Build Back Better that is a step in aligning the US with other affluent countries in support of all citizens.
    Too bad working people have been bamboozled to believe that Republicans care about them.

  2. If you are “running as a republican” you ARE a republican. Do we say former democrat DA Doorley “runs as a republican”? Singletary IS a republican.

  3. The question is , and the question that the media should have asked and be asking every GOP candidate for office , including local office is , “Does he support Trump and his attempt to overturn an election ?”
    Does he support the insurrection of January 6th that injured 140 police officers and Trump’s continued attempts to claim he is the true President . It does not matter what positions he has on the issues because those votes and positions in Congress are determined by the Trump cult thru Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnel . These are the most important questions for any GOP candidate going forward and they are not being asked .

      • Should we care about the lies and cover up concerning the death of Daniel Prude? If voters don’t value integrity and they are undisturbed by Trump’s agenda and the coup he instigated they will soon find themselves living in a country similar to Russia or Belarus, the oligarchy will rule while we will have no voice. Our form of government is fragile, and it will vanish if we embrace those who cannot distinguish between leaders and autocrats.

    • He was asked whether Joe Biden won the election. A year after the election, his answer was he had to get back to us on that one. That is sufficient to disqualify him.

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