During a news conference Friday, Rochester mayoral challenger Malik Evans said he intends to run in the general election, no matter the result of the primary election. He’s challenging Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren in the June 22 Democratic primary. Evans will be on the Working Family Party line in the general election.
“Our name is Evans and we Evans don’t give up,” said the councilman who was flanked by his wife and mother-in-law. “We don’t stop. We're in this for the long haul. I’ve been a proud Democrat since I was 18 years old but we intend not to have that conversation.”
Typically, when a major party candidate loses the nomination of their party, they don’t actively run other lines even if they are on them. But this election isn’t typical. Warren is facing felony campaign finance charges and a trial is possible this year. If convicted, she may have to step down.
WXXI News has reached out to the Warren campaign for comment, and have not heard back.
Evans also scored his highest profile endorsement so far: Assemblyman Harry Bronson. Evans also has the support of several unions: CSEA, AFSCME 66, and BENTE 2419. Bronson, who called himself “a union guy” at the news conference said that was one of the reasons for the endorsement.
Bronson also said an Evans administration would have a better relationship with state lawmakers, the LBGTQ community and would make transparency its hallmark.
“He’s a person of integrity,“ said Bronson. “A man of his word. Malik is a bridge builder. A person willing to be transparent, open to listening and to have full dialogue.”
Warren endorsed Bronson in a race for his Assembly seat in 2016 but in recent years the two have clashed publicly, beginning with Warren’s failed attempt for a state takeover of the Rochester City School District. The following year, Warren’s former chief of staff, Alex Yudelson, challenged Bronson for his assembly seat.
Bronson said none of this factored into his decision. He said he learns from disagreeing with other politicians and said it makes him better at his job. Bronson said his endorsement is about Evans and his leadership style.
“I know that in this moment in time, Malik is the right person to lead us to a better city of Rochester. A more inclusive city of Rochester,” said Bronson.