Thursday, March 28, 2013

Is the Rochester mayor's race lacking 'real' Democrats?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM

I noticed something I thought was strange at last week’s meeting of three east-side Democratic committees. The committees were making their endorsements for mayor, City Council, and City Court.

A couple of the ballots in the mayor’s race between incumbent Tom Richards and challenger Lovely Warren came in blank. Why bother to turn them in at all, I asked, if you don’t like either candidate?

A committee member said he thought the blank ballots were a protest. Richards is a “late in life” Democrat, joining the party in 2010 prior to his first mayoral run. And his corporate background doesn’t exactly scream “proud Progressive.”

Warren’s background may fit the Democratic mold better than Richards’ — she’s a lifelong Democrat who endured a hardscrabble upbringing in northeast Rochester — but she’s at odds with the party on a key issue: same-sex marriage. Asked her opinion on SSM, Warren responded tersely at the convention that SSM is the law in New York State and she would follow the law. At a time when even an increasing number of Republicans are “coming out” for SSM, Warren’s response seemed off-key.

Could a perceived lack of “real” Democrats in the mayor’s race keep some Dems at home when it comes time to vote in September? Your guess is as good as mine.

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