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Republican Legislator Reacts to Morelle Jr. Appointment

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Rochester: Republican Legislator Reacts to Morelle Jr. Appointment
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The Republican Majority Leader for the Monroe County Legislature is calling out Democratic Chairman Joe Morelle after the recommendation of his son to fill a vacancy in the county legislature.

"I certainly don't think he should be prejudiced against because of his last name," said Joe Morelle.

Wednesday, Morelle Sr. recommended his 24-year-old son, Joseph Morelle Jr., to fill the vacancy in the county legislature left by Ted O'Brien, who was elected as a State Senator.

Republican Majority Leader Anthony Daniele calls the recommendation disappointing.

"Words like nepotism come around. It's a little disconcerting that for a party and a chairman who traditionally has been very critical of the Republican party for using words like nepotism, patronage, and alleged corruption. This kind of does not sit well and seems to be flipping the coin, if you will," said Daniele.

Daniele believes Morelle Jr. is getting the job because of who his father is and says the decision should be left up to voters.

"If Joe Jr. wanted to carry the family dynasty on to the next level, I would have expected that he'll run for it, which he'll have the opportunity to do in the fall," said Daniele.

Wednesday evening, Morelle Sr. responded by saying he didn't pick his son for the position; the Irondequoit Democratic Committee did last month by unanimous vote during a meeting he did not attend.

"First of all, if I had made the choice, perhaps he'd have the right to say that, but I didn't make the choice," said Morelle Sr. "My responsibility is county chair is as I've done in the pass is simply to communicate to the president of the county legislature who is been chosen by the local Democratic committee."

O'Brien, who is a part of that committee, says Morelle Jr. was chosen because of his involvement with the committee throughout the years.

"He's exactly the kind of person we need in the legislature. We need more young people to get involved in public service, which is a noble following in my view. I'm really encouraged that he'll be filling the seat that I'm vacating," said O'Brien.

County Legislature President Jeff Adair is expected to make the recommendation official.
Once that happens, Morelle Jr. will hold the seat for 11 months until a special election in November.

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