Such is the turbulent state of local politics at the moment that a reporter asked if Molly Clifford, who announced her bid for City Council this morning, is running as a Democrat. A bit of background: Clifford is a long time, solid-blue Dem who once ran the local party.
But the Dems, you see, are still reeling from Sandra Doorley's defection. Doorley, the county district attorney and one of the party's brightest stars, announced yesterday that she is becoming a Republican, offering very little in the way of explanation.
But back to Clifford, who is seeking to represent the Northwest District on Rochester City Council. The seat's current occupant, Carla Palumbo, is stepping down this year, which is also the end of her term.
Clifford is well-known in political circles and has held various positions in city government. Her most recent position in the city was director of fire administration. She resigned after Lovely Warren took office as mayor and went to work in the private sector.
At the press conference this morning, Clifford said that she is running because she loves the city and because she wants to fight for the residents of Northwest Rochester, who want good jobs, safe neighborhoods, recreation opportunities for their families, and strong schools.
The Northwest District includes Charlotte, where a battle is being fought over a controversial development project at the Port of Rochester. Some residents say that the mixed-use project, which includes a hotel and condominiums, is out of scale with Charlotte's cozy charm. Clifford said that there have been missteps along the way, but that the important thing now is to work with the developer to get the best possible project.
Clifford's run will undoubtedly be seen as provocative by some. She helped engineer a late push to keep Tom Richards in the mayor's office, even after Warren had won the primary, which caused some to accuse her of disloyalty to the party. But Clifford said this morning that the election is not about Warren, but about the people of Northwest Rochester, who couldn't care less about party politics.