Mayoral candidates make final push ahead of primary

September 11, 2017 11:56 PM

Voters head to the polls Tuesday to choose who will be on November's ballot in several key races.

The highest profile race in Rochester is the Democratic primary for Rochester mayor.

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Four years ago, there were just under 64,000 Democrats registered for the primary. But only about 15,000, a little less than 24 percent, voted in the primary.

This time around, a higher turnout is expected as Mayor Lovely Warren faces challenges from former police chief James Sheppard and former television journalist Rachel Barnhart.

The night before the primary, all of the candidates hit the streets, going door-to-door, meeting people with the hope of getting a bigger turnout than expected on Tuesday.

It was a buzz of activity as Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren's campaign headquarters. She thanked supporter and accepted well wishes and then she left with a motorcade which traveled through the city, encouraging people to go to the polls.

The mayor says voters can judge her record for themselves, by looking around the city.

"We made a commitment four years ago to this community and we have lived up to that commitment and I think that they see that all around them," Warren told News10NBC. "We are pushing them and calling them and going door-to-door and doing everything that we can to let them know that tomorrow is election day and election day is when it counts."

Warren's Democratic opponent Rachel Barnhart had a quieter push as she made her rounds Tuesday evening, hoping to connect with undecided voters.

The former broadcast journalist says she recognizes she has been the underdog in this race: The candidate who had little money, but a big message about change.

"I know that our voters are very passionate. Our voters, the ones we've connected with, the ones we've met at the door, we've talked to on the phone," she says. "They're coming out. We hope we've hit the right number. We hope that we have enough people that are going to come out and support us."

Sheppard and his daughter knocked on doors throughout the evening, encouraging voters to go to the polls. He hopes his message will get out to voters.

"I think the main thing is to think about inclusivity in terms of an administration that wants to reach out to them," Sheppard says. "That wants to hear their voices, include them in decision-making. Anything that we do as much as possible, we want to solicit their opinion. I think that's very important in ownership and value."

The polls open at noon on Tuesday.


Lynette Adams

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