Maggie backs Lovely for mayor
Updated: Friday, November 1 2013, 08:20 PM EDT
Rochester, N.Y. --- The twists and turns in the 2013 Mayoral Election continued on Friday with a surprise endorsement for City Council President Lovely Warren.
The Democratic candidate for Mayor of Rochester received the endorsement of Monroe County’s top Republican, County Executive Maggie Brooks. Brooks and Warren were joined by former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson who ten years ago ran against Brooks in a hard fought campaign for County Executive.
"I had a great relationship with every Mayor that I worked with,” Brooks said. “I think the relationship with Bill is quite unique because he is the first Mayor that I worked with, we were adversaries on the campaign trail so it was a campaign full of high emotion and the fact that we were able to just say look we got to work together.”
"Lovely and I have a unique opportunity to govern in a way that maybe the community hasn't seen before,” Brooks continued. “That is why I'm getting involved, I believe in her qualifications I believe in her vision and I really do believe in the fact that she wants to bring people together and I want to help her do that.”
"I've been watching the campaign and the politics around the campaign and I was there, I mean a lot of the same dynamic was evident when I ran,” Brooks explained. "I hear Lovely Warren talk on a daily basis about building bridges, bringing people together and working collaboratively. That was exactly my message in 2003 and it's her message today and I want to help her do that.”
"I understand that if elected Mayor that I will not be able to do this job alone,” said Lovely Warren. “That is going to take building bridges that is going to take building partnerships with the County of Monroe and the County Executive.”
Former Mayor Bill Johnson addressed the grassroots campaign aimed at getting Richards re-elected. He called it “a renegade campaign” and he called on Richards to publicly denounce it, something Richards hasn’t done yet.
“I have been saying this repeatedly that he should do so and I think he should and he keeps hemming that he has no part of it,” Johnson said of Richards. “But he needs to make it clear that he has nothing to do with this. This is highly irregular and it is inappropriate in a Democratic society, we live in a society that when the votes are cast you accept the results and you move on and that is what the primary was for; they had two candidates the goal was to get them down to one, she won that race. And therefore she should not be having to defend herself against these unnamed people.”
Johnson’s message to the people running that campaign was simple, "Those people need to be ashamed of themselves for trying to undermine the democratic process and I mean the small ‘d.’”
While this endorsement is unusual, how effective it will be on Election Day remains to be seen. The grassroots campaign to re-elect Tom Richards is gaining momentum even despite Richards’ endorsement of Warren and perhaps because he’s refused to say if he will or will not serve should he be elected next week.
At least one Democrat is publicly upset over Warren accepting this endorsement. County Legislator Paul Haney of Rochester sent an email to Democratic leaders in his 23rd Legislative District Friday afternoon. 13WHAM obtained the email and Haney confirmed its authenticity and added only that he was, “deeply disturbed by the apparent relationship struck today.”
Haney’s email listed many of the issues and conflicts that have angered him and other Democrats on the County Legislature in recent years. Haney’s email began:
“I've been in politics for over 50 years and I have never been so shocked and appalled as I am right now! Maggie Brooks endorsing the Democratic candidate for Mayor (and having the endorsement happily accepted) is disgusting! The person (and her crew) who has worked for ten years to crush the Democrats in the County Legislature and elsewhere and everything we stand for is now endorsing a Democratic candidate for Mayor? Give me a break! Some God awful deal has been made and I am disgusted!!”
Warren will appear on the Democrat line when voters head to the polls on Tuesday. Green Party Candidate Alex White also appears on the ballot as a candidate for Mayor.
Richards, who publicly ended his campaign and endorsed Warren, appears on the Independence Party and Working Families Party ballot lines.