Nearly 90 percent of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll support Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards’ run for re-election. Richards announced at a news conference Wednesday morning that he plans to run for mayor in November.
Richards, who became mayor by winning a March 2011 special election after predecessor Robert Duffy was elected lieutenant governor, could face a Democratic primary challenge from City Council President Lovely Warren, who said she is weighing a run.
When asked whom they favored in a primary contest between Richards and Warren, 92 percent said they favored Richards.
Richards was sworn in as mayor in April 2011. The endorsed candidate of the Monroe County Democratic Committee in the special election, he outpolled former Mayor William Johnson Jr., the Working Families and Independence party candidate, and Alex White, who ran on the Green Party line.
Richards previously served more than four years as corporation counsel and two months as deputy mayor.
Warren has served on City Council since 2007, representing the Northeast District, and became president in January 2010. She also is lead counsel and chief of staff to state Assemblyman David Gantt, D-Rochester.
Roughly 740 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Feb. 4 and 5, before Richards announced he would run.
Do you want Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards to run for re-election?
In a primary contest between Mayor Thomas Richards and City Council President Lovely Warren, whom would you favor?
Thomas Richards: 92%
Lovely Warren: 8%
It appears he has done a more-than-adequate job, he is crazy enough to want the job and his re-election may mean the city has to pay a pension to one fewer politician if he is re-elected. Being as I live in the suburbs, it really is none of my business, but thanks for asking.
I think it is way too early to answer question No. 2. I would want to hear them frame the issues. —Alma Balonon-Rosen, Enterprise Community Partners
I think Tom Richards has done a great job and handled some tough decisions correctly.
—Ed Schlueter, president, Medgraph Inc.
I have to admit that Tom Richards has done better than I expected from the former head of RG&E. However, I have no sense that he has a city constituency anywhere near as people-based as Lovely Warren. In a two-party city, he’d probably be the Republican candidate, but this is, unfortunately, a one-party city, and Lovely Warren is the "real" Democrat this year.
Richards is an outstanding mayor and representative of our community. He is solid on both the issues and the politics of the problems that we face. I spend a lot of my time advocating for Rochester and could not think of a better partner.
—Aaron Hilger, president, Builders Exchange of Rochester
Tom Richards is a wonderful public servant who has put our community needs ahead of his own interests. May his kind prosper and multiply!
—J.P. Gleason, Gleason Fund Raising Consultants
Mayor Richards has done a very good job. We still need him.
I feel the city is beginning to make strides to become something worth frequenting again. Rochester appears to be run a lot better than it was. I give Richards a thumbs-up; I’d vote for him.
—Ronney A. Rogers, BlissHeaven.com
In these challenging times, the city of Rochester cannot afford to not have Mayor Tom Richards as our leader.
—David Scalen, Regional Distributors Inc.
Tom Richards has done a superb job helping to resurrect a city that has been slowly coming back. We are fortunate to have a man who doesn’t need to work, work for Rochester!
—Tom Wahl Jr.
It’s nice have a businessperson in a prime position in the city. Mayor of Rochester is second only to county manager in local government’s importance for the long-term growth of this total marketplace.
—Harold H. Ley, Appliance Associates of Buffalo
I live in the city and work in the city. I have been heavily involved in city school issues, and my children are city school graduates. Tom Richards is the most effective mayor we’ve had since Tom Ryan. Tom is bright, collaborative, practical and fiscally responsible. He is the perfect mayor for this time in our history.
—Rob Brown, ESOP Plus
The city needs Tom Richards’ experienced and steady hand. I hope he’s willing to take on this service to the community one more time.
—Carolyn Phinney Rankin, creative director and CEO, Phinney Rankin Inc.
If there was to be a primary race between Tom Richards and Lovely Warren, my only question would be: “Where do I send my contribution check to support Tom?”
—Michael J. Lebowitz, real estate broker
Tom Richards has no identifiable vision for moving Rochester out of its 30-year doldrums. He is managing (the city’s) continuing decline, a city in a slow death spiral toward Detroit-like status (or Buffalo). The city needs a new generation of leaders. I’m not sure Lovely Warren is that person, yet, but the 60-something generation has had its time and, frankly, failed. Next generation up at bat.
Mayor Richards is a proven leader and manager. It would be insane to switch mayors, when the city faces unprecedented fiscal challenges. The mayor has a diverse and highly effective management team who are collectively doing an exceptional job of running the city. City Council also is doing an excellent job of representing the people of the city and working with the mayor. Mayor Richards is the best choice at this point.
—Frank Orienter, Rochester
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