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Is mayor eyeing Congressional run?
Rochester, N.Y. -- Just 75 days into her first term as Rochester Mayor, could Lovely Warren have her sights set on Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's job?
"Absolutely not, I'm committed to the citizens of Rochester," Mayor Warren told 13WHAM News Sunday night when asked about her attempt to meet with Democratic Party political leaders during her latest trip to Washington, D.C. last week.
Warren acknowledged her contact with representatives of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, better known as the DCCC. The DCCC is the "campaign arm of the Democrats in the House" of Representatives and is involved in fundraising, campaigns and candidate recruitment.
Rochester sits squarely within the borders of New York's 25th Congressional District. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-Fairport) represents the district and attended a Warren fundraiser in Rochester on Saturday night.
"I'm flattered that people would think that but we have a lot of work to do here," Mayor Warren said when asked if her attempt to meet with the DCCC signaled an interest to run for Congress.
"I got the sense from the calls that I received that some people might think that I had been harboring political animosity from last year's mayoral election," said Warren of her reasons for reaching out to the DCCC. "I wanted to clear the air, not only with local people but also with political contacts in Washington, that I was committed to our congresswoman and whatever they needed me to do to help our congresswoman I would do, as I did two years ago when asked to help."
During the 2012 campaign cycle, Slaughter trounced Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks (R-Webster) by nearly 15 percentage points (57.4 percent to 42.6 percent).
Slaughter endorsed Warren's Democratic primary opponent, then-Mayor Tom Richards, in July 2013. Warren defeated Richards in the September mayoral primary and in November earned the public endorsement of Brooks.
Slaughter was first elected to Congress in 1987 and has risen through the ranks to become one of the most powerful women in D.C. At 84 years old, Slaughter is currently the oldest woman in Congress, but all signs point to her running for re-election in 2014.
The face-to-face meeting between Mayor Warren and a representative of the DCCC never actually happened last week despite repeated communications between the two camps. Mayor Warren insisted to 13WHAM News her reason for reaching out was strictly to reaffirm her commitment to Congresswoman Slaughter.
"From my recent visits to D.C., I wanted to make sure that politics were not impacting policy decisions for the betterment of Rochester," said Warren, who has visited Washington, D.C. four times since she was elected in November 2013. Three of those visits occurred during her first 75 days in office.
Gates Town Supervisor Mark Assini has already announced his candidacy as a Republican aiming to challenge Slaughter in the 2014 cycle.
When reached by phone on Sunday, a spokesman for Slaughter said he had no comment.