Mayor Thomas Richards on Tuesday ended his campaign for re-election and said he would support the opponent who defeated him in last week’s Democratic primary.
Richards, in a statement, cited an illness in his family that he said would make it inappropriate for him to continue to campaign. He did not identify the family member or specify the illness.
“I believe that my announcement today will, and should mean that Lovely Warren will be elected our next mayor. I intend to work to make that occur successfully and I urge everyone to do so as well,” the statement said.
Warren, the City Council President, upset Richards in last week’s primary, but he could have remained in the race. His name will appear on the November ballot on the Working Families and Independence party lines.
Green Party candidate Alex White is the only other candidate in the race.
Warren said she appreciates Richards’ support.
“For the last three years, we have shared a passion for serving this city which we both love and are proud to call home,” she said in a statement. “While in the course of the primary election we may (have) differed about paths and priorities, we have never differed about our feelings of mutual respect.”
Richards, 70, a former Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. executive and city corporation counsel, won a special election in 2011 to fill the vacancy created after Mayor Robert Duffy was elected lieutenant governor on the ticket headed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.