|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from New York's 25th district
November 13, 2018
|Majority Leader of the New York Assembly|
January 1, 2013 - November 13, 2018
|Acting Speaker of the New York State Assembly|
February 2, 2015 - February 3, 2015
|Member of the New York Assembly|
from the 136th district
January 1, 1991 - November 13, 2018
|Born||April 29, 1957|
Utica, New York, U.S.
Mary Beth Bauer
|Education||State University of New York, Geneseo (BA)|
Joseph D. Morelle (born April 29, 1957) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for New York's 25th congressional district since 2018. A Democrat, he was formerly a member of the New York State Assembly representing the 136th Assembly district, which includes eastern portions of the City of Rochester and the Monroe County suburbs of Irondequoit and Brighton. Speaker Sheldon Silver appointed him as Majority Leader of the New York State Assembly in January 2013 and Morelle served as Acting Speaker in the Speaker's absence. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives for New York's 25th congressional district in November 2018 following the death of longtime Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.
Morelle was born in Utica, New York, and grew up in the town of Irondequoit, where he attended Eastridge High School. He went on to receive a bachelor's degree in political science from SUNY Geneseo in 1986.
In his early years, he was a sales manager for a drycleaning and laundry business. He got his political start working for State Senator John D. Perry as a constituent services representative in Rochester and legislative aide in Albany.
Morelle, a Democrat, made his first foray into elective politics at the age of 24 when he ran for a seat in the Monroe County legislature. He failed to unseat the incumbent on the first try, but prevailed in the 1983 election. He was re-elected once before running for the New York State legislature.
Morelle was first elected to the State Assembly in 1990. He ran uncontested in the November 2008 general election and won the November 2010 general election with 61 percent of the vote.
During his tenure in the State Legislature, among the more than 200 laws authored by Morelle are major reforms to the workers compensation system, laws to require carbon monoxide detectors in one- and two-family homes, toughen regulations governing charitable organizations, protect the elderly and infirm who live in nursing homes or receive home based health care, and raise senior citizens' real property tax exemption. Morelle sponsored bills to exempt veterans from certain state licensing fees, protect their gravesites, and assist them with regard to the civil service application process.
In January 2001, Morelle was appointed the Chairman of the Assembly Standing Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Sports Development. He worked with area leaders to develop Rochester as a center for tourism and the arts in Western New York.
In addition to the Tourism Committee, Morelle's standing committee assignments included Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry; Higher Education; Local Governments; and Libraries and Education Technology. At his request, the Speaker created the Subcommittee on Manufacturing in order to give New York's manufacturing sector a greater voice in state government.
In 2005, Morelle issued a report, "Creating a State of Innovation: Unleashing The Power of New York's Entrepreneurial Economy," detailing New York's economic decline, particularly in Upstate, and offering numerous policy recommendations to reverse this years-long trend.
In 2005, Morelle was elected chairman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee, and held this position until 2014.
In 1990, an acting state Supreme Court justice ruled that Morelle fraudulently obtained several signatures on nominating petitions to qualify him for an independent line on the 1990 ballot (New York permits cross-filing in some circumstances) during his run for the State Assembly. Morelle remained on the ballot and won the election. He later admitted that he allowed family members to sign the petitions for the individuals whose names appeared on them and did not personally witness the signatures, both of which are illegal. In 1991 he was charged with seven misdemeanor counts of violating state election law. Morelle denied intentionally violating the law, but accepted a plea bargain in which he was found guilty of two counts of disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to 32 hours of community service and a $25 fine. Because disorderly conduct is a violation of the law, rather than a misdemeanor or felony, Morelle's guilty plea enabled him to avoid having a permanent criminal record as a result of the incident.
After the death of Representative Louise Slaughter, Morelle announced he was a Democratic candidate for New York's 25th congressional district; he won the Democratic Party's nomination on June 26, 2018. On November 6 he ran in two elections-a special election for the last two months of Slaughter's 16th term, and a regular election for a full two-year term. He won both, defeating Republican Jim Maxwell.
Morelle was sworn in on November 13, 2018.
|Democratic||Rachel A. Barnhart||7,003||19.67%|
|Working Families||Joseph Morelle||4,575||1.7|
|Women's Equality||Joseph Morelle||2,105||0.8|
|New York State Assembly|
| Member of the New York Assembly
from the 132nd district
| Member of the New York Assembly
from the 136th district
| Majority Leader of the New York Assembly
| Speaker of the New York Assembly
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 25th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority
Mary Gay Scanlon