Just a week after losing the Democratic Primary to City Council President Lovely Warren, Mayor Tom Richards announced he was suspending his campaign. Despite being on the Independence and Working Family Party lines in November, Richards said personal circumstances demanded his attention.
Now some of Richards' supporters have decided to get the message out that voters can still re-elect the mayor.
"We want to make sure that people know that they have that chance, that they can go in and have a couple of different opportunities to pull the lever over Tom Richards' name," said Richards supporter Pattie McCarthy.
This newest effort is spearheaded by the Independence Party. It recently set up a website devoted to the Richards campaign.
In a statement, party chairman Steve Corryn said:
"The Independence Party believes the true vote happens in November. We support the re-election of Mayor Tom Richards. We encourage every eligible voter to cast their vote on Nov. 5. You have a choice, and now more than ever, your vote counts."
With Election Day just two weeks away, Richards supporters have very little time to make this last ditch effort a success. There is very little, if any, money for the campaign. Richards gave what remained in his war chest to the Monroe County Democratic Committee.
But Richards supporters believe the mayor can still win.
"It was a little bit less than eight percent of the electorate that voted for the mayor's opponent in September and we feel this is a very important decision for the future and that it would be appropriate and even necessary for a larger group of voters to have the opportunity to weigh in about out community's future," McCarthy said.
It's unknown whether Richards will serve if he is victorious Nov. 5.
In a statement released by the mayor, Richards said:
"I have been concentrating my time on my family and on my job as Mayor. I have not had any conversations with any political leader regarding the mayoral election."
Monroe County Democratic Chair Joe Morelle says his party backs Warren, declaring she will be the next mayor of Rochester.
The candidate herself said Tuesday that this new push for Richards can only be put to rest by the man himself.
"If people are acting on his behalf, then he has to say so. If he does not want this, he has to say so. The only person that can end the speculation is Tom and hopefully he'll do that one way or the other," said Warren, D.