Monroe County Executive Adam Bello easily won re-election Tuesday and unofficial results showed Democrats winning a majority in the county Legislature. If the results are confirmed, the Democratic Party next year will control both the county executive’s office and the Legislature for the first time in more than three decades.
With all districts reporting, Bello had nearly 61 percent of the vote, versus 39 percent for Republican Mark Assini, a margin of more than 30,000 out of nearly 141,000 votes cast. When Bello defeated incumbent Republican Cheryl Dinolfo in 2019 to earn his first four-year term as county executive, the race was much closer—52 percent for Bello to 48 percent for Dinolfo.
Assini conceded the race shortly after 11 p.m.
Two years ago, unofficial results on Election Day showed Republicans keeping the one-seat edge that had allowed them in 2017 to retain control of the county Legislature. After absentee and affidavit votes were counted, however, Democrats gained the majority by a single seat and appeared to be in position to control the Legislature.
That failed to happen when one of the victorious Democrats—Sabrina Lamar—opted to caucus with the Republicans, becoming Legislature president as part of the bargain.
In June, LaMar was defeated by challenger Rose Bonnick in the Democratic primary, and on Tuesday Bonnick swept Republican David Ferris.
Unofficial results also show Republican Sean Delahanty, a county lawmaker since 2014, losing to Democratic challenger Lystra McCoy in the 18th District. But the race was close—a 52 percent to 48 percent edge for McCoy, with 302 votes separating them—and absentee votes could be a key factor. Delahanty currently represents the 11th District, but changed districts with redistricting.
The other close contest, in the 9th District, had Republican incumbent Paul Dondorfer with a narrow lead, 51 percent to 49 percent, over Democrat Mel Callan. Dondorfer’s advantage was only 155 votes.
This year, 13 of the 29 seats in the Legislature were uncontested. More than half of the remaining districts strongly favored the incumbent lawmakers.
Registered Democrats have outnumbered Republicans in Monroe County since 2003, and in recent years their enrollment edge has been nearly 80,000 voters countywide. Unaffiliated voters also have been increasingly steadily. In fact, they now outnumber Republicans by more than 23,000 voters.
Until now, however, the Democrats’ enrollment advantage has not translated into full control of county government.
Paul Ericson is Rochester Beacon executive editor. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected].