Rochester, N.Y. – Despite holding a $1,000-a-ticket fundraiser this month, Mayor Tom Richards said he has not made up his mind about running for a full term.
“I have to make up my mind pretty soon. That’s an issue that’s presented to me. And I will to be fair to everybody who might be involved,” Richards said. “I’m obviously committed to the place and involved, but I haven’t decided yet.”
Richards ran for mayor in a special election in 2011 after then-Mayor Bob Duffy left to become lieutenant governor. His term expires at the end of 2013 and he would have to run again in November.
If he hasn’t made up his mind, why hold the fundraiser?
“I’m raising money to support the city too. And whatever the politics turn out to be and whatever it turns out to mean for me, it can be used to support what I think is the future of this city,” Richards said.
Richards will be 70 years old next year. He is a former CEO of RG&E and served as the city’s corporation counsel under Duffy. He had not ever enrolled in a political party until he became a Democrat as he was exploring his first run for mayor.
“I’m the kind of guy who quite frankly never learned how not to work. That’s pretty much what I’ve done my whole life. I don’t have a lot of hobbies. I don’t play golf. But that’s something to think about. You want to make sure you’re healthy and vigorous enough to do this job. I think I am. It certainly takes that,” Richards said. “There are other issues with my family and so forth I have to think about. This is a show up job…And if you do it there are consequences for the people around you.”
Does Richards feel he has more to accomplish?
“You have to be careful of that. This is not a job you finish. It’s not like, ‘Well I have something left to do and then I’m finished.’ This will always be a work in progress.”
Richards did not put a timeline on when he will make a decision, but said it will be soon.