Monday, September 9, 2013

Big election week

Posted By on Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 10:28 AM

It’s all about elections this week with crucial Democratic primaries for City Council, mayor, and school board taking place on Tuesday night. Some suburbs have primary races, too. Polls are open from noon to 9 p.m.

The title event is the mayoral contest between Tom Richards and City Council President Lovely Warren. Voters seem to be buying into Richards’ “stay the course” refrain, with the latest poll giving the incumbent a sizable lead. Warren says that Richards lacks vision and hasn’t done enough to improve the plight of Rochester’s poor. The winner of the primary faces Green Party candidate Alex White in November's general election. 

Five at-large seats are in play on City Council, and all five incumbents are running again: Loretta Scott, Matt Haag, Jackie Ortiz, Carolee Conklin, and Dana Miller. They are being challenged by the Rev. Marlowe Washington; small business owners Lisa Jacques and Anthony Giordano; and retired teacher Ann Lewis.

Three Rochester school board seats are up for grabs. Incumbents Van White, Cynthia Elliott, and Jose Cruz are being challenged by Ernest Flagler, Howard Eagle and running mate Ronald Hall, Candice Lucas, Donald Hardaway, Tim McCauley, and Liz Hallmark.

The outcome is difficult to predict. Education has been a major issue in the mayoral race between Mayor Tom Richards and City Council President Lovely Warren, adding to the already intense focus on the city school district’s low performance.

There is temptation to throw out the incumbents, but a strong case can also be made for not putting the district through further leadership upheavals.

Suburban races vary from town to town, though they are mostly Republican contests. The primaries include:

  • In Henrietta’s Republican primary, sitting town Supervisor Michael Yudelson faces a challenge from Town Board member Jack Moore. Yudelson has served as supervisor since 2008, and Moore started serving on the Town Board the same year. Yudelson has the Henrietta Republican Committee’s endorsement and the Independence and Conservative lines.
  • In Perinton, sitting Supervisor James Smith is not seeking re-election. The town Republican Committee endorsed Michael Barker, who currently serves as a county legislator. But he faces a challenge from Ed Dunn, who owns a home-building company and in 2010 ran a long-shot bid for governor.
  • In the Greece tax receiver race, Walter Schiemann and Republican Rick Antelli are running for the Independence Party line.
  • In Hamlin, Republicans can vote in primaries for the supervisor and Town Board seats. Sitting Supervisor Thomas Breslawski faces a challenge from Eric Peters, who also has the Conservative line. And three Republicans are running for two Town Board seats: Kurtis Goltermann, Craig Goodrich, and Jason Baxter. Goodrich and Baxter also have the Conservative and Independence lines. Jeremy Moule, Tim Louis Macaluso, and Christine Carrie Fien

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