Rochester Democrats decide Tuesday if they want Mayor Tom Richards or Rochester City Council President Lovely Warren to be on their party line in November.
We talked to some Rochester residents and focused on one question that was in our poll: can the mayor, any mayor, tackle Rochester's biggest problems? What we heard over and over again from those on the street IS the key to that success involves collaboration.
In an exclusive YNN-Voice of the Voter-Siena Research poll, we put a dozen questions to 503 registered city Democrats who describe themselves as likely to vote. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent.
The final question of the polls asks, "Overall today, do you think a mayor of Rochester is capable of successfully addressing the problems facing Rochester or do you think the problems are too large for any mayor to address?"
Sixty-two percent said the mayor is capable of successfully addressing Rochester's problems. Thirty-four percent said the problems are too large for any mayor, and four percent said they didn't know or had no opinion.
When we talked to people like David Dornford, we heard a lot of the same answers.
"I think you need county and state coordination. The problem is too big, too large," said Dornford. "I grieve that they can't think regionally with the county, and I don't think that's entirely the city's fault. I think the county legislature's highly polarized. Automatically, when something is suggested by the Democrats, even if it's good, it's shut down."
David has lived in Rochester since 1973 and calls the S. Plymouth Ave. area home. He still hasn't decided who he'll vote for tomorrow.
"I'm leaning towards Lovely because I love our mayor; I think he's a little skewed in the direction of business," Dornford said.
"I think this city certainly does have some major problems and probably beyond the scope of one person to handle all by themselves," said Ed Cain.
Cain lives near Rochester's East End. He thinks Mayor Tom Richards has been handling some of those big issues well.
"I think they both bring certain qualities to the table. I just think that the mayor has done a great job with what he's had to work with. I think he's had a lot of experience in both the corporate world and in politics, and I think we should give the mayor an opportunity to continue the work he's been doing."
Both candidates have some work to do with residents like Shannon Stuermer. She lives on State Street near Kodak and High Falls.
Shannon says she can't get her son Jacob into pre-school. He's on several wait lists, and she worries about what he's seeing and hearing where he lives.
And like David and Ed, Shannon thinks everyone needs to take part in the fix.
"The people... nobody cares about this city. They expect change but they don't want to put in any work for it. They throw garbage on the ground and then say, why is this city such a mess? It's disappointing," Stuermer said.
We asked if she has been following the race.
"A little bit. Not much. I don't think one person is going to do a better job than the other."
The winner of Tuesday's primary will face Green Party candidate Alex White in the general election in November. Tom Richards will also appear on the Working Families and Independence party lines.