UPDATE: The Friends of Lovely Warren campaign group says it has nothing to do with the telephone poll.
What in the world is going on here? A telephone poll making the rounds asks respondents their opinion of a number of people, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, City Council member Adam McFadden, and Rachel Barnhart. Wait, what? Why is a TV journalist part of a political poll?
“I had no idea I was being polled,” Barnhart says.
OK, our astonishment is a bit of a feint. We heard that Barnhart, who is with WROC-TV8, may be considering a run for State Assembly member Harry Bronson’s seat, but were having a hard time believing it.
Bronson’s a Democrat. It’s not clear whether Barnhart would run as a Democrat or a Republican, but every other person mentioned in the poll is a Democrat.
Barnhart says that she was approached about the Bronson race – she declined to say who approached her — but that she’s committed to WROC through the end of her contract in May 2016.
“I can’t keep my day job and run,” she said. “And I don’t want to compromise my integrity when I may remain in my job for years to come. It’s nice other people want to plan my life, but I’m the one who has to live it.”
The poll will undoubtedly further fuel speculation about Mayor Lovely Warren’s plans. A recent TV ad campaign featuring the mayor caused some to wonder if Warren is gearing up for a run for higher office, although the group that paid for the ads, the Friends of Lovely Warren, said they are just a way to draw attention to the city’s progress.
Interestingly, the telephone poll asks how likely the respondents are to vote to re-elect Warren, if they’ve seen the TV ads, and if the ads changed their opinion of the mayor. It also asks people to rate the job that Warren has done in improving Rochester’s schools and in bringing in new jobs.