They'll be dissecting this one for months.
City Council President Lovely Warren has soundly defeated Tom Richards in the Democratic primary for mayor. Unofficial results from the Monroe County Board of Elections put the margin of victory at approximately 57 percent to 42 percent.
This makes the general election infinitely more interesting. Warren and Richards will face-off again -- Richards has the backing of the Independence and Working Families parties -- and they'll be joined by Green Party candidate Alex White.
Richards had big advantages in money and endorsements, and all of the polls conducted in this race gave him a respectable lead. But the only thing that matters on election day is how many people pick your name.
Turnout was significantly lower than expected -- about 23 percent as of 8 p.m., according to the Board of Elections.
Did the 90-degree temperature keep Richards' supporters away? Did the Richards-heavy polls convince them they had nothing to worry about, so they didn't bother voting? Warren did a strong get-out-the-vote push and repeatedly emphasized to her supporters that they had to register and that they had to vote.
Warren's central focus in this campaign was education, and that seems to have connected with voters.
There will be no shortage of theories in the coming weeks.
All five City Council incumbents won. Dana Miller, Loretta Scott, Jackie Ortiz, Matt Haag, and Carolee Conklin go on to November's general election, where they'll face the Rev. Marlowe Washington again -- Washington was in the primary but lost -- and Green Party candidates Drew Langdon, David Atias, and Dorothy Page.
SCHOOL BOARDDespite huge public concern about the state of Rochester’s schools, voters returned the incumbents. Van White was the clearest winner among city school board candidates, the only one gathering more than 20 percent of the vote. White was followed by incumbent Cynthia Elliott. Incumbent Jose Cruz has narrowly defeated newcomer Candice Lucas.
But the election’s impact on city schools may not come from the school board. City Council President Lovely Warren ran almost entirely on two themes: education and the “two Rochesters” that has largely been the result of failing city schools.
While Mayor Tom Richards and Superintendent Bolgen Vargas have forged a strong working relationship, the Rochester school district may need to brace for a less supportive Warren administration. Warren has been a strong advocate for charter schools.
Though there was wide speculation that school board challengers Candice Lucas and Liz Hallmark might pick off at least one of the incumbent seats, it seems Cynthia Elliott benefited from a strong Warren showing, too.
The Henrietta Republican supervisor primary will likely end in an upset, with Town Board member Jack Moore defeating sitting Supervisor Michael Yudelson. The Henrietta Republican Committee had backed Yudelson in the race.
While Moore will have the Republican line in the November general election, he’s not guaranteed the supervisor seat. He won’t face a Democratic challenger, since the party isn’t running anybody. Yudelson, however, will still be on the ballot since he has the Conservative and Independence lines. A post on Yudelson’s Facebook page gives the impression that he does plan to continue his campaign.
Moore received approximately 66 percent of the vote while Yudelson received approximately 34 percent.
In Perinton’s Republican supervisor primary, County Legislator Mike Barker was on track to a sharp victory over Edmund Dunn. Barker, who was the Perinton Republican Committee’s endorsed candidate, received 84 percent of the vote.
Results are unofficial and do not include absentee ballots, the counts for which the county Board of Elections hasn’t yet posted.