Monroe County Democrats have chosen their candidates, but it's a long way to the November elections. Many contenders who lost out on the party's endorsement intend to stay in the races for mayor, City Council, and Rochester school board.
Each contender will have to collect signatures from 1,000 registered city Democrats and have those signatures validated by the county Board of Elections before they can participate in the September 10 primary. Primary winners go on to represent the party in the general election.
Lovely Warren is staying in the mayor's race, intending to primary the designated candidate, incumbent mayor Tom Richards. Warren is president of City Council.
Democrats also designated all five at-large Council people for re-election: Carolee Conklin, Loretta Scott, Dana Miller, Jackie Ortiz, and Matt Haag. Some of the challengers have dropped out, except for the Rev. Marlowe Washington, Lisa Jacques, Ann Lewis, and Anthony Giordano.
Washington is pastor of Christ Community Church, Giordano is a Rochester businessman, Jacques is owner of Park Ave. Pets, and Lewis is a former special education teacher in the Rochester school district.
Three seats are up on the school board, and Democrats have endorsed incumbents Van White, Jose Cruz, and newcomer Candice Lucas. Lucas is president of the district's Parent Advisory Council.
Petitioning to challenge the designees are: Howard Eagle, Ernest Flagler, Ronald Hall, Tim McCauley, Donald Hardaway, Liz Hallmark, Mia Hodgins, and incumbent Cynthia Elliott, who was not designated.
Flagler is a city firefighter, McCauley is past president of the Rochester Black Business Association, Hardaway is an MCC adjunct professor, Hall is on the board of Genesee Community Charter School, Eagle is a retired RCSD teacher, Hodgins is associate director of alumni affairs at RIT, Hallmark is an education researcher and advocate, and Elliott is assistant to the executive director at Baden Street Settlement.