In-Depth: Top donors and amounts raised in Rochester mayoral primary |

In-Depth: Top donors and amounts raised in Rochester mayoral primary

Brett Davidsen
Created: May 25, 2021 09:01 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Primary day is just four weeks away. Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is running for a third term and facing a primary challenge from City Councilman Malik Evans.

News10NBC's Brett Davidsen found Evans has raised a boatload of money toward his campaign.

Evans may be the challenger in the race for Rochester mayor, but he's no stranger to voters. A former Rochester School Board President and current City Councilman he is running strong financially in his current campaign: this time for mayor.

"I think it says we have a broad-based coalition of individuals that are willing to give at all levels," Evans said.

According to campaign finance disclosure forms filed with the State Board of Elections, Evans has raised $174,398 since the start of the year.

That's more than double raised by two-term incumbent Warren.

As of the start of 2021, she has raised $75,462 in her re-election campaign.

"This has been an unprecedented amount of support that we've seen from over 700 donors and we're proud of that," Evans said.

Evans’s financial ledger is buoyed by his support from organized labor.

Here's a breakdown of his biggest contributors:

“We know him very well,” said RTA Vice President John Pavone. “We find him to be a very upfront and honest individual and we believe that whatever decisions he makes that affect education will be the right decisions."

Evans says the level of support is "humbling."

"In order to have good jobs you have to be able to have a middle class and labor unions have fought for that and we share a lot of the same values," Evans said.

On the other side, Warren continues to hold support despite a felony indictment for campaign finance violations, recent civil unrest in the city, and now the arrest of her husband on drug and gun charges.

She alluded to her support last week during a defiant speech questioning the motives behind her husband's arrest.

"They saw like you saw,” Warren said. “That the momentum was building in our favor in the mayoral race and I was going to be found innocent in my election law case. Because I did nothing wrong."

Here are her top donors:

  • $3,579 from Monroe Capital CEO Paul Adams.
  • $3,500 donations from various corporations: 1180 Jefferson Road LLC, Atlas Contractors and Premier Asset Management.
  • $3,200 from I. Gordon Corporation and real estate developer Nelson Leenhouts.

News10NBC was told the mayor was unavailable to speak with us due to a tight schedule, but her campaign manager says they have a lot of support and the money is coming in despite the difficulties in holding fundraisers during the pandemic.

In addition to this story, News10NBC has reached out to the mayor's campaign several times to take part in a mayoral debate or even a one-on-one interview to discuss the issues.

Her campaign has declined repeatedly and instead, directed News10NBC to her campaign website for her stance on the issues.

Among his contributors, Evans has received money from former mayor Tom Richards and former mayoral candidates James Sheppard and Rachel Barnhart, all of whom lost to Warren in prior campaigns.

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