"I've always try to weigh my family responsibility with my civic responsibility and the desire to help Rochester's transformation, but frankly I'm not always sure I've made the right decisions, I think I am making the right decision today," said Richards.
Richards said the declining health of a family member prompted his decision to bow out of the race.
"I believe that my announcement today will and should mean that Lovely Warren will be elected as our next mayor," explained Richards. "I intend to work to make that occur successful and I urge everyone to do so as well."
Richards says his announcement does not effect the work he plans to do until his term ends.
"Part of keeping going every day, part of what you need to do in this job I've learned is you need to make sure that the way we do these things has the long view in terms of the city's financial viability," said Richards. "There's plenty to do to keep that happening, so there's lots to do and lots to continue here in the next three or four months."
As for the legacy of the Richards administration, "I've tried to use my skills and my experience to the benefit to all and to keep us moving in the right direction. I'll leave to others to judge whether I've done a good job as mayor."
Richards ended his announcement by saying the City of Rochester has been good to him and his family, and asked the city to support and work hard to help the next mayor.
Democrats have a huge enrollment advantage in Rochester, which means Lovely Warren will likely become the next mayor. Alex White is running on the Green Party line.
Warren issued a statement saying, "I want to send my deepest appreciation to Mayor Richards for his words of support...Along with people from across the city, my husband Tim and I send our prayers to the Richards family."
White said in a statement, "I want to thank Tom Richards for his years of service to the city of Rochester."
Richards was the retired CEO of Rochester Gas & Electric when he was tapped to become former mayor Bob Duffy's corporation counsel in 2006. Richards later became deputy mayor. When Duffy was elected lieutenant governor, Richards ran for mayor and won a special election in 2011. He had not been affiliated with any political party until he ran for office.
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