Updated 07/12/2012 09:25 PM
Challengers Set for Closely-Watched County Legislature Race
The sudden resignation of a well-known Democrat has created an opening In the Monroe County Legislature.
Vinnie Esposito announced this week he's resigning his post to take a position with Empire State Development. He'll be the Deputy Regional Director working with the Finger Lakes Economic Development Council.
For two people who've run in the past for Esposito's seat, a special election to fill the position creates an unexpected opportunity.
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Opportunity can come when you least expect it.
"It fell back into my lap in less than eight months, I believe."
Less than a year after losing his first run for public office, Dr. Joe Carbone is getting a second chance.
"Four years from now, I think the fire would have been out of my belly."
Democrat Vinnie Esposito defeated Carbone last fall for an Irondequoit-based seat in the Monroe County Legislature. With Esposito stepping down, Carbone hopes voters will give him another look.
"I'm going to try to get my message out of stable taxes and job creation, and hopefully I will get some people to cross party lines."
Carbone is an Irondequoit native who's run a podiatry practice in his hometown for 28 years. He's served his community as a volunteer but says he wants to do more.
"I don't have an agenda," said Stephanie Aldersley.
For Aldersley, this special election is an opportunity to regain the seat the Democrat held for ten years.
"I really can hit the ground running."
Aldersley spent the last five years serving on the Irondequoit Town Board and was endorsed Thursday night to challenge Carbone. If elected, she says she'll provide much needed oversight to the Republican-controlled government.
"The Republican Majority kind of moves in lock-step with the administration and I think I can do a better job being a bit of watchdog over county administration."
Despite losing last fall, Carbone was cross-endorsed by the liberal Working Familes Party and raised more than $50,000; efforts that could make him more attractive in a Democratic-leaning district in 2012.
"I'm ready to fight. So that future generations of Irondequoit residents have the same love for our community that Irondequoit residents have today. Thank you very much."
Monroe County Democratic Chairman Joe Morelle released a scathing response to Carbone's candidacy, saying:
"Carbone tried to buy an election seven months ago, spending the most money for a losing campaign in county legislature history. I doubt Irondequoit voters have so quickly forgotten his negative campaign or his lack of integrity."
Carbone says the Democrats spent just as much money and sent out just as many campaign flyers as he did. Carbone says the voters will decide this race, not Joe Morelle.
In addition, the Monroe County Democratic Committee has sent a letter to the Legislature asking that Aldersley be appointed to fill Esposito's seat in time leading up to November's election.