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Richards addresses re-election question

Rochester, N.Y. --  Mayor Tom Richards addressed question about whether he will serve if re-elected.

The Independence Party is pushing for Richards' re-election even though the Mayor stopped campaigning after losing the Democratic Party Primary to City Council President Lovely Warren.

Some of Richards' top staff members are helping with the effort, noting that Richards' name will be on the ballot on the Independence and Working Families lines.

Below is a statement released by Mayor Richards today:

Since losing the Democratic Primary last month, I shut down my campaign operation, disbanded its staff and transferred the campaign's funds to the Democratic Party. I stopped campaigning for personal and family reasons, including but not solely limited to the loss of my son Matthew.

It was my belief then that by not actively campaigning, my campaign would indeed be over and Lovely Warren would and should be elected. I have been true to my word that I would not campaign or take part in any campaign related events. I have not and will not participate in this election process at any level. I have done all that I can do to support the result of the primary by removing myself from this election process.

I stand by the statement I made on Sept. 17, including my support for Lovely:

"I believe that my announcement today will, and should mean that Lovely Warren will be elected our next Mayor. I intend to work to make that occur successfully and I urge everyone to do so as well. After the election, my administration will work to assist in the transition. I believe that this is in the best interest of our city." -Thomas S. Richards, September 17, 2013

But it is undeniable that I will appear twice on the ballot for the Nov. 5 mayoral election. I was endorsed by the Independence Party and by the Working Families Party many months ago. In recent days, it has come to light that there has been activity to urge voters to vote for me on those two lines. I have had no contact nor offered any support to those activities.

Those independent efforts have raised the question about whether I would serve should I finish with more votes than the other candidates. This is an outcome that I see as highly unlikely. I have been asked to provide a yes or no answer to this question. Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

If I were elected and declined to serve, the second-highest vote getter would not become mayor. In that situation, we would see an unelected mayor serving until a special election was held the following November. There are many different scenarios that could occur that would need to be addressed. It matters how and by whom those decisions will be made. We should not, and really cannot, resolve these issues now. Should this unlikely event occur, we will address it then and I'm sure we'll have plenty of input from plenty of people. I am conscious of my duty to provide stable leadership to the city throughout this process.

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Washington Times