Joe is running for the right reasons

Joe and Dawn Chenelly are raising their family on the eastside of Rochester because they know this is the best place anywhere, and Joe is committed to ensuring that stays true.

 
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Get to know
Joe Chenelly

Family First

Joe is a proud Perinton native. He is a husband, father of five, advocate, and combat veteran.

Joe has spent the past 20 years working extensively in the non-profit, advocacy community. Working to ensure our government keeps its promises, striving to improve everyone's quality of life, especially those in need.

Joe has been an "east-sider" since birth. He attended kindergarten in East Rochester and graduated from Fairport High School in 1995. He obtained his secondary education at Finger Lakes Community College and Syracuse University.

At times in his early childhood, unfortunate events caused his family to experience poverty and homelessness, learning the importance of hard work, never giving up, and making the most of what you have. Above all, he learned family is everything.

Wanting to be part of something bigger than himself, Joe enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1998. He served honorably for seven years, including deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa, and other hotspots.

After being honorably discharged, Joe felt a sense of guilt for safely making it home when many others did not. He dealt with those feelings, becoming determined to continue serving in other ways, vowing to help those who were not as fortunate.

He initially went into journalism, reporting on combat operations, telling service members' stories. He received awards for his investigative work that uncovered unfair treatment for soldiers, subpar conditions in military hospitals, and the plight of veterans suffering and dying because of inadequate healthcare and mental healthcare.

While living near Washington, Joe was elected to a countywide board of education in Maryland. For two years, he exposed and defeated corruption. He led the way in replacing zero-tolerance policies with common sense policies. He fought to give parents a strong voice in their children's education.

Joe eventually left the media industry in a quest to more directly address the government's shortcomings in keeping its promises to his fellow veterans and their families.

Joe is now the national executive director of a large veterans service organization, fighting on behalf of 19 million military veterans. His work includes close interaction with federal lawmakers, administration officials, and the president of the United States, regardless of political party. Joe's job is to inform and urge officials to take action to best serve veterans.

Joe is not a lobbyist. He works with officials of every party. He refuses to take part in the "pay for play" actions that corrupt so many. Rather, Joe ensures his goals are based on solid ground, backed by reliable data and public support. That approach has allowed him to be highly productive in D.C.

Joe's duties include appearing on national and regional television, radio, and in other forms of media to inform the public on how our various levels of government are doing to meet their obligations.

Joe, wife Dawn, their daughter, and four sons are proud to call Perinton home. All five of their children graduated from or still attend Fairport public schools.

Joe is very active in the community. He coaches youth sports. He is a member of the PTA and the local veterans post. And he just completed six years as a member of the Perinton Parks & Recreating Advisory Board.