Our national nightmare 

Donald Trump: game-show host, birther king, shady businessman, and proud pu@sy-grabber is the next president of the United States. Congratulations, America. Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton, who mishandled some e-mails and wasn't forthcoming about the fact that she had pneumonia. Whew. Dodged a bullet there.

Remember when Republicans said Obama couldn't be president because he lacked experience? Well, Trump did guest star on "The Nanny" once, so there's that.  From "Yes, we can" to "Grab 'em by the pu@sy" in eight years.

The results will undoubtedly be dissected for days, weeks, and months to come, but this much is clear: that a man much of the county finds abhorrent could win election to the highest office in the land is the starkest example yet that we aren't just on different wavelengths; we're practically different species.

click to enlarge Democrat Louise Slaughter was reelected to her House of Representatives seat. - FILE PHOTO
  • Democrat Louise Slaughter was reelected to her House of Representatives seat.
In local results, the Slaughter juggernaut is back. Long-serving Democratic Congress member Louise Slaughter easily defeated her Republican rival, Mark Assini, tonight. Unofficial results from the Monroe County Board of Elections put Slaughter up by more than 10 percentage points, with only 18 districts left to report in.

Slaughter barely defeated Assini, who is supervisor of the Town of Gates, in 2014.

Many people were watching this race because Assini seemed to come almost out of nowhere in 2014. While Slaughter was able to keep her seat, she won that year by about 800 votes – not a stellar performance for a longtime incumbent.

Slaughter had some advantages in this year’s election. She was completely prepared for Assini and she was well-funded. Slaughter had the money for ad buys and she clearly used it, often going pretty rough on Assini. It was also a presidential election year and from most accounts, turnout has been strong.

But Slaughter is also without question one of the area’s most beloved figures. She is a staunch liberal and tough as nails. She has a long history of bringing funding back to the Rochester area on everything from major infrastructure to research. More recently, she has championed Rochester’s photonics industry, which is still in its infancy.

While some voters like the idea of term limits, it takes only a few minutes with Slaughter to see the difference in depth that experience can make. For his part, Assini never seemed to catch on during this election. He was mild-mannered and respectful of Slaughter. He campaigned on repairing the region’s infrastructure and improving the local economy by containing government spending. It was not enough, however, to take him across the finish line.

Also in Monroe County, Adam Bello just did something rare: he won a countywide office as a Democrat. Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Bello to the vacant county clerk seat earlier this year.

click to enlarge County Clerk Adam Bello: A Democrat in a high-profile county position. - FILE PHOTO
  • County Clerk Adam Bello: A Democrat in a high-profile county position.
With the vast majority of polling sites reporting, Bello has a wide lead over Republican Cheryl Rozzi, the Greece town clerk and the former clerk of the County Legislature. Bello had roughly 57 percent of the vote to Rozzi’s 43 percent.

As clerk, Bello placed an early focus on vacant and abandoned properties. He highlighted the effort in his campaign and said that it showed how the clerk’s office could tackle broader issues. He campaigned on reopening a downtown Rochester DMV office and modernizing the clerk’s office to allow things such as legal document e-filing.

Bello also criticized Republican County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, his predecessor in the office, over fees that were waived under her administration. Many of the waivers dealt with passport fees, and a Department of State representatives says the practice violated the law.

Bello and Dinolfo, of course, are potential political rivals. Some Democrats and Republicans have talked about Bello as a future county executive candidate, and his decisive victory tonight will only fuel that speculation.

At the state level, Democrat Harry Bronson will keep his 138th Assembly District seat, which covers parts of the City of Rochester as well as the towns of Henrietta and Chili. He pulled in around 63 percent of the votes, besting Republican Bob Zinck, who got about 36 percent.

Both Bronson and Zinck prevailed in primaries back in September; Bronson beat former television reporter and anchor Rachel Barnhart while Zinck beat conservative activist Peter Vazquez. Bronson stressed his support of and advocacy for marriage equality, minimum wage increases, and paid family leave throughout his primary and general election campaigns.

Republican Senator Joe Robach will also return to Albany after defeating his Democratic challenger, Ann Lewis. Robach is very popular in his district, which stretches from Brighton through part of the city and into the westside towns. Democrats have struggled to unseat him and as a candidate, Lewis isn't well known.

In for the 133rd Assembly District, Republican Joe Errigo beat Democrat Barbara Baer, getting 52 percent of the vote to her 39 percent.

The race became tragically complicated when the incumbent, Republican Bill Nojay, killed himself the day he was supposed to turn himself in on fraud charges.  And it took another twist when Errigo made inflammatory comments about City of Rochester neighborhoods on WXXI’s Connections program recently. The remarks may have hurt him in the Rochester area, since Baer carried the few Monroe County towns in the district. But Errigo carried the Livingston County and Steuben County portions of the district.

Also at the state level,  Republican State Senators Rich Funke and Robert Ortt won their uncontested races, as did Democratic Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, Democratic Assembly member David Gantt, and Republican Assembly members Peter Lawrence and Stephen Hawley.


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