Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards on Wednesday announced his intention to run for a full, four-year term.
Richards has been mayor since winning a special election March 29, 2011.
Richards initially was sworn in as mayor on Jan. 1, some 12 hours after former Mayor Robert Duffy was sworn in as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s lieutenant governor, with plans to fill the remainder of Duffy’s term ending at the end of this year.
He resigned Jan. 20 to avoid potential conflicts between his special election campaign, provisions in the city charter related to the positions of mayor and acting mayor, and the federal Hatch Act.
Richards announced his re-election during a news conference this morning involving the creation of a city land bank.
“Tom Richards has been an extraordinary leader for this city and this entire community over the past two years,” said Joseph Morrelle, chairman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee, in a statement following Richards’ announcement.
“He has proven that government can be both efficient and responsive to the needs of those it serves, and he is an outstanding and tirelessly devoted spokesman and champion for the city and its people. Today’s announcement is great news for anyone who cares about the city of Rochester.”
The timing may have been influenced by City Council President Lovely Warren’s announcement early last week that she is considering a run for mayor this year.
“I suppose,” Richards said. “The other side of it is, I haven’t organized a campaign. I’m not going to do that for a while. I think we have lots of time for that, and I think we have to be careful here and pay attention to business and not spend months in some political soap opera.
“But in order to do that, I did decide—for personal and also for sort of public reasons—that I needed to say what it is I was going to do. The reason I did it in a low-key sort of way is that’s how I think that should be handled right now.”
Richards, 69, was chairman and CEO of RGS Energy Group Inc., a predecessor to Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. He was named City Corporation Council after Duffy was elected mayor.
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