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Richards wins special election for Rochester mayor

Thomas Richards edged former Mayor William Johnson Jr. in Tuesday’s mayoral special election in the city of Rochester.

Richards, the endorsed candidate of the Monroe County Democratic Committee, faced Johnson, the Working Families and Independence party candidate, and Alex White, who ran on the Green Party line.

In unofficial results from Monroe County Board of Elections, Richards received 49 percent of the vote; Johnson secured 42 percent and White got 9 percent.

Johnson, speaking to supporters at the Hyatt Regency Rochester an hour after the polls closed, congratulated Richards but urged him to "reach out" to city residents who have felt "they have not been heard."

"These are voices that have to be heard," he said. "We can no longer pretend that everybody is happy."

In his remarks to supporters at One Restaurant, Richards said that "I may be new at this, but you have to admit over the past few months I made this interesting. More interesting than I (would have liked)."

Richards was backed by former Mayor Robert Duffy, who stepped down after his election as lieutenant governor. At the Richards post-election gathering, Duffy said “the best person won this race for the city of Rochester. … Tom is going to do an extraordinary job.”

Richards, who will fill out the nearly three years remaining in Duffy’s term, concluded his remarks by saying, "We have work to do, but just this once, it can wait until tomorrow."

(c) 2011 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

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