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Rochester Green Party announces slate of city candidates

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:

The local Green Party announced a first-ever slate of city candidates on Wednesday, hoping to break Democrats’ grip on City Hall and the school board.

rochester green slate bannerOthers have run for local office. But this is the first year that the Green Party fielded a slate of city candidates: Alex White for mayor; Drew Langdon, David Atias and Dorothy Paige for City Council; and Lori Thomas for school board.

White is the most recognizable Green, a small-business owner and past candidate for City Council and, more recently, for mayor.

“I am excited not to be standing here alone,” he said during a news conference outside City Hall. Previous elections have been “kind of embarrassing. It’s a Democrat or me that I get to vote for.”

Democrats have not just controlled City Hall for the last quarter-century, but every elected office. Enrolled Democrats outnumber all other voters in the city nearly 2-to-1, and enrolled Greens, specifically, 176-to-1. Still, Green candidates promise an exciting race.

“It’s huge,” White said of the benefit of having a slate. “It’s going to bring a lot more people to the campaign and, honestly, it’s going to look a lot better.

“That image is huge — the idea that people have an option.”

The Democratic field has incumbent Mayor Thomas Richards facing City Council President Lovely Warren. For City Council, there is a field of 11 incumbents and hopefuls seeking five at-large seats. For school board, at least eight are running for three open seats.

At Wednesday’s news conference, candidates said their focus was on empowering people, and putting the focus of economic development incentives on small business rather than big business. Better than subsidize development projects, Atias said, put the money into infrastructure and schools to attract business and benefit everyone.

“We do feel there needs to be a difference voice, a different perspective,” said Atias, assistant director of advocacy at the Center for Disability Rights and a one-time school board candidate.

Dave Schwab

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