Richards addresses Independence Party stirrings
Updated: Monday, October 21 2013, 08:07 PM EDT
Rochester, N.Y. - Mayor Tom Richards has responded to calls by the Independence Party of Monroe County for voters to re-elect him.
Even though Richards is not actively campaigning, his name will remain on the ballot in November on the Independence Party line. Richards also appears as the candidate on the Working Families Party ballot line in November.
A week after losing the Democratic Primary to City Council President Lovely Warren, Richards publicly announced the end to his mayoral campaign.
"I think my announcement today will and should mean that Lovely Warren be elected as our next mayor,” Richards told reporters on September 17, 2013.
Warren is running on the Democratic Party line and Alex White is the Green Party candidate.
However, the Chairman of the Independence Party of Monroe County announced this week an effort to “Turn Out For Tom” with a website of that name inviting supporters to donate money and help campaign for Richards’ election on the Independence and Working Families Party ballot lines.
“The Independence Party believes the true vote happens in November. We support the re-election of Mayor Tom Richards,” Independence Party chairman Stephen Corryn state in a press release.
On Monday a statement from Mayor Richards was issued through the City Hall Communications Office. It reads:
"On September 17 I announced that I was ending my campaign for re-election due to personal circumstances that demanded my attention. That continues to be true following the passing of my son Matthew.
At the time of my announcement, I also stated that I was not going to entertain political speculation. That also continues to be true. Since that time, I have been concentrating my time on my family and on my job as Mayor. I have not had any conversations with any political party leader regarding the mayoral election.
The announcement I made on September 17 was a commitment that I made and it remains so. In the coming days, I will concentrate on the matters that are important to our city's future and I look forward to seeing my new granddaughter for the first time."
What the statement does not specifically state is whether Mayor Richards would refuse to take the oath of office if by some chance he is elected in November.
A spokesman for the New York State Board of Elections tells 13WHAM News that if the winner of the election refused to take office when the new terms begins the seat would be considered vacant. The city’s charter then dictates the filling of that vacancy.