[UPDATE] In a long-anticipated move, Mayor Lovely Warren has announced that she’ll seek a second term.
Given the Democratic Party’s voter-registration domination in Rochester, a Democrat is almost certain to win the November general election. But Warren will first have to face at least three other candidates in a September 12 Democratic primary: former Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard, former television reporter Rachel Barnhart. Business owner Alex White will run as a Green Party candidate.
Warren is Rochester’s first woman mayor and only the second African-American mayor. She has a law degree from Albany Law School; was legislative assistant and chief of staff to State Assemblymember David Gantt, her mentor; was elected to City Council in 2007, and was elected Council president in 2010.
She won the Democratic Party’s nomination for mayor in 2013 after challenging then-Mayor Tom Richards in a primary – and she beat him again in the general election after Richards’ supporters mounted an independent campaign for him.
Warren has received both sharp criticism and praise during her first term. As she agreed in her announcement today, she got off to a rocky start, appointing an uncle as her security guard, for instance. And her appointments to the Rochester Housing Authority and her actions related to the school district’s school-modernization plan have been particularly controversial. But downtown development continues to increase, and her administration’s initiatives include police reorganization, police body cameras, job training and transportation programs, efforts to boost city students’ college enrollment, Sanctuary City legislation, LGBTQ advocacy, and increased library and recreation center funding.
In her campaign announcement, she said that in her second term she would focus on increased development, affordable housing, public safety, and job and educational opportunities. And she lashed out at the Trump administration and promised to lead Rochester in resisting policies that would harm the city and its residents.