Rochester Mayor Tom Richards says his intent when he closed down his re-election campaign last month was that Lovely Warren "would and should be mayor."
Richards also says he neither condemns nor endorses efforts by some of his supporters urging voters to support him on the Independence Party line, where he remains a candidate despite losing the Democratic Primary to Warren last month. Richards says he doesn't control what people do on their own time. He also says he hasn't talked to any political parties or encouraged people to vote for him.
Mayor Richards called what he promised will be his final press conference on the subject after learning that two of the people still pushing his cause were city employees; one of them his own Communications Director.
Richards says his intent when he closed down his re-election campaign a month ago was to get out of the race for personal and family reasons, and throw his support to Warren. Richards says he did want to be mayor, but doesn't need the job, and "it doesn't own me." Finally, the mayor says "I'm done with this...no more news conferences, no more speculation."
The two mayoral candidates who are actively campaigning were quick to comment.
Democrat Lovely Warren says she appreciates the mayor's support but thinks his supporters have put him in an uncomfortable position. Green Candidate Alex White says "he's endorsed Lovely Warren, he's not running, let go of it, people!"
White says the "is he or isn't he?" talk about Mayor Richards has diverted attention from the ideas he and Warren are advancing to make Rochester a better city.
Mayor Richards expressed some frustration during his news conference with calls that he flatly rule out actually serving if elected.
First of all, Richards says that won't happen. But if by some quirk he should get more votes than Warren, he'd have to think carefully before turning down the job.
That's because an election doesn't automaticaly go to the second place finisher if the winner declines the job. An interim mayor would have to be appointed by City Council, to serve until the next general election a year from now.