Brockport Alum Becomes Youngest Monroe County Legislator
Frank Keophetlasy '16 was one of eight Brockport alumni elected to the Monroe County legislature.
In the November 2019 election, 14 alumni and one faculty member of SUNY Brockport were elected to public office in the greater Rochester area.
Among them was 26-year-old Frank Keophetlasy ’16, the youngest incoming Monroe County legislator who says he is likely the only Asian American ever to be elected to that governing body.
Keophetlasy was elected to the 28th district, the boundaries of which are contained in the northwest part of the City of Rochester, including the Lyell-Otis, Jay-Orchard, Edgerton, and Maplewood Neighborhoods. His election means that eight of the 29 Monroe County districts are now represented by Brockport alumni in the legislature.
The 28th district has always been Keophetlasy’s home.
“I grew up here. From this little kid playing basketball on the outside courts to growing up and becoming a voice, a representative for the district,” he said. When Keophetlasy saw that Cynthia Kaleh (D) would be leaving her seat in the legislature, he saw it as an opportunity.
“I always knew I wanted to do something in politics and the community,” Keophetlasy said.
He studied political science at the College and participated in a formative internship with the New York State Assembly that launched his public servanthood.
"As he approached graduation, Frank was sure he wanted to engage in public service but was unclear about his specific direction," said Brockport Associate Professor of Political Science Susan Orr, who instructed Keophetlasy. "That internship proved to be a pivotal experience for him. His hard-work and dedication in that position is the platform from which he launched his successful run for office."
Without that experience, “I don't know what my career path would’ve been,” Keophetlasy said.
For the past few years, Keophetlasy has worked in the office of New York State Assemblyman David Gant as a legislative assistant.
His election in November was the first time his name was on a general ballot. While he was unopposed in the election, he ran like he wasn’t. He gathered friends and looked to engage younger constituents by encouraging them to make calls, knock on doors, and contribute donations. He explained that people appreciated someone young and active coming to their door to talk about their neighborhoods.
Keophetlasy says he is excited for the opportunities to come and is looking forward to the chance to improve jobs, promote diversity in the county workforce, and better the efficiency of social services in Monroe County.
Orr is looking forward to monitoring his progress.
"It's exciting to see such a young and dedicated graduate become part of local government," she said.
More Brockport Alumni Election Winners
Monroe County Legislature
- Frank Allkofer, 4th District
- Karla Boyce, 5th District
- Howard Maffucci, 10th District
- Michael Yudelson, 13th District
- George Hebert, 15th District
- Vincent Felder, 22nd District
- John Lightfoot, 25th District
- David Seeley, Irondequoit
- Christa Filipowicz, Clarkson
- Gay Lenhard, Ogden
- Jose Peo, Rochester City Council
- Diana Christodaro, Greece Town Council
- Cynthia Jessop, Riga Town Council
Receiver of Taxes
- Kathleen Bahr-Seever, Town of Sweden