Richards clarifies his intentions, sort of


UPDATE: 4:50 p.m. on Monday, November 4. Richards has released a statement about the Lonsberry appearance. It follows the blog below. 

On today's Bob Lonsberry show, Rochester Mayor Tom Richards said that if he is re-elected tomorrow, he will be sworn in and he will serve, for a least a bit. It was the clearest that Richards has been on the issue since the Turn Out for Tom campaign began. 

Richards lost September's Democratic primary election to City Council president Lovely Warren. Though he still has the Independence and Working Families lines, Richards effectively dissolved his campaign, citing family obligations. (Richards' son, Matthew, died not long afterward.) 

But in the intervening weeks, an unauthorized re-election campaign sprung up on Richards' behalf. Those efforts include two employees of city government: chief spokesman Gary Walker, and Molly Clifford, the city's director of fire administration. 

Richards has said that he is not involved with the effort and that he will not campaign. But he has not come right out and said that he would or would not serve if he won, citing too many "what if's" to speak definitively. 

Richards reiterated on today's Lonsberry show that he doesn't know what he'd do, long term, if he wins the election. But the fact is, he said, that he would be the current and the elected mayor, at least temporarily, and he refuses to leave the city in a lurch. His primary interest, he said, is keeping the city in a stable position. 

When Lonsberry asked if Richards would be sworn in and serve for at least a bit, Richards said, "I don't know any way to avoid it." 


(Monday, Nov. 4, 2013) - Today I was called by local radio personality Bob Lonsberry, who asked about my intention should I receive enough votes tomorrow to win the election. I reiterated my belief, that to my mind, not campaigning means you do not win the election. I am surprised to find out that the efforts of the Independence Party are far more extensive than I imagined. As I have stated, I have had no contact with that effort. The scope of the Independence Party campaign makes me realize that there is a possibility that I could be the top vote getter. I have said that I would deal with that possibility when and if the time came. Mr. Lonsberry and others have been pressing for a clarification. At bottom, if I receive more votes than other candidates, I am the mayor. I would never abandon that responsibility and would serve as mayor for as long as it takes to ensure the continued growth and stability of our city. This is a commitment I that I will stand by. It was never my intention to walk away from this responsibility and honor. Rochester is my home, will continue be my home and I will serve the city to the best of my ability.