This year is a particularly significant election year for the City of Rochester, with the mayor's office, more than half the seats on City Council, and three of the seven school board seats on the ballot.
This year is also significant because of the large number of candidates: three for mayor, 13 for City Council, five for school board. July 13 was the petition-filing deadline for Democrats who want to run in the September 12 primary. Challenges to the petitions can be filed until later this month, and by Monday challenges had been filed against almost every candidate. Challenges – which aren't unusual – occasionally do result in petitions being ruled invalid. It's likely, though, that most of the candidates who filed will end up on the ballot. Here's the list:
For mayor: the incumbent, Lovely Warren; County Legislator (and former Rochester Police Chief) Jim Sheppard; and former television reporter Rachel Barnhart.
For the five City Council seats: The incumbents: Council President Loretta Scott, who is completing her second Council term; Dana Miller, who is completing his third term; and Jackie Ortiz, who is completing her second term.
The non-incumbents: Rochester artist and activist Shawn Dunwoody; school board member Malik Evans; Mitch Gruber, chief program officer at Foodlink; PLEX resident Dorian Hall; 2008 County Clerk candidate Thomas Hasman; Rochester teacher Matt Juda; former County Legislator Willie J. Lightfoot; former special education teacher Ann Lewis; community activist Mary Lupien; and small business owner Marcus Williams.
For the three school board seats: incumbents Cynthia Elliott, who is completing her third term; and Van White, the board president, completing his third term; and non-incumbents Beatriz LeBron, a social worker; Cecelia Golden, a former Rochester school district administrator; Sabrina LaMar; and Natalie Sheppard, a care coordinator at Hillside.