May 18, 2017 11:38 PM
Mayor Lovely Warren officially accepted the Democratic endorsement Thursday night in her bid for re-election.
The mayor officially clinched the endorsement following a committee vote earlier this month. Thursday night, the party held its designation convention to make it official.
In her first re-election run, Mayor Warren is expected to face former Rochester police chief and current County Legislator James Sheppard and former television journalist Rachel Barnhart in the Democratic primary. Warren took office in 2013 after a surprise defeat of former Mayor Tom Richards in that year's primary.
This year, the shoe is on the other foot, as Warren enters with her party's backing against two well-known candidates looking to unseat her.
The mayor fully admits her administration got off to a slow start, with a number of controversies plaguing her first months in office, but Warren says now the city is moving full steam ahead.
"We have been doing everything we possibly can to move Rochester forward," the mayor told reporters after the convention. "We have moved the needle when it comes to safer, more vibrant neighborhoods, better educational opportunities for our children and jobs for our community. And we will continue to work on those three issues going forward and we have exciting things in the works."
Her opponents, however, aren't as optimistic about the mayor's view of the city.
"What we have here is a matter of things being said that aren't necessarily backed up by the data," said Sheppard. "If you look at jobs, we did not create 30,000 jobs in the City of Rochester -- the data shows we actually lost jobs... Crime has been going down for the last 30 years and continues to go down all across this country. I don't think anyone in particular can say, 'It was because of me.'"
Barnhart, on the other hand, says Warren and Sheppard both represent the "fractured" establishment.
"Lovely Warren represents one faction," she says, "Jim Sheppard represents another. I don't represent either faction. No one's donating to me because they want jobs for themselves or their friends. No one's donating to me because they want to do business with the city or are doing business with the city... We need to fix our house, but the only way to do it is to elect new people."
Despite stiff competition, Mayor Warren remains confident about the race.
"I've been here before," the mayor said of the primary possibilities. "I won the last time, and I plan on winning this time."
She adds, "We have more work to do and we'll continue to do that work."
Sheppard counters, "I think, at the end of the day, I will prevail, based on our platform and the things we want to make happen in the City of Rochester."
"This was the ultimate party insiders game, and I am not a party insider," Barnhart said of Warren's endorsement. "The bottom line is voters deserve choice. This is a heavily Democratic city. That means, the only way voters can have choice is through the Democratic primary system. I am going to provide that choice."
Primaries will be held September 5.
Other Democratic convention endorsements
County Sheriff - Todd Baxter
Monroe County Legislator, District 10 - Howard Maffucci
Mayor - Hon. Lovely Warren
City Court – Hon. Chuck Crimi
City Council, At-Large - Hon. Loretta Scott
City Council, At-Large - Hon. Dana Miller
City Council, At-Large - Hon. Jackie Ortiz
City Council, At-Large - Malik Evans
City Council, At-Large - Matt Juda
RSCD Board Member - Hon. VanWhite
RSCD Board Member - Beatriz LeBron
RSCD Board Member - Natalie Sheppard
Brighton Supervisor - Bill Moehle
Brighton Clerk - Dan Aman
Chili Supervisor - Christopher McCullough
Henrietta Supervisor - Steve Schultz
Henrietta Council - Robert Barley
Henrietta Council - Michael Stafford
Irondequoit Supervisor - Hon. Dave Seeley
Irondequoit Justice - Hon. Joseph J Valentino
Irondequoit Justice - Hon. Joseph T Genier
Irondequoit Council - Hon. Peter Wehner
Irondequoit Council - Kimie Romeo
Mendon Council - Terry H Daniele
Mendon Council - Erin Kahley-Carr
Perinton Clerk - Nora Tuthill-Glueck
Perinton Council - Joshua Foladare
Perinton Council - Matthew J Brown
Pittsford Council - Stephanie Townsend
Pittsford Council - Kevin Beckford
Riga Council - Stanley Main
Sweden Council - Susan Smith
Sweden Council - Walter Borowiec
East Rochester Trustee - Mark McDermott
East Rochester Trustee - Kathy Hennelly
Updated: May 18, 2017 11:38 PM
Created: May 18, 2017 10:33 PM
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