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Democratic mayoral candidates to square off in River Campus town hall April 29

April 27, 2017
James Sheppard

James Sheppard

Rachel Barnhart

Rachel Barnhart

Two Democratic candidates for City of Rochester mayor will take part in a town hall on the River Campus on Saturday, April 29.

The event is hosted by the community engagement committee of the Students’ Association Government. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. in Hoyt Auditorium, and the town hall will run from noon to 2:30.

Rachel Barnhart and James Sheppard have confirmed their attendance. Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, who is running for re-election, has a prior commitment and will not attend.

“We encourage the entire Rochester community to join us,” says the Students’ Association’s Justin Delinois ’19, who is a native of Rochester and a dual major in political science and Latin American studies. “It has truly never been so important to love and support one another. We envision a leader who will put Rochester first, help the crescent of poverty, help foster stronger community relationships with the University, and be a mayor for all Rochesterians.”

The event will begin with opening statements from the candidates, followed by a facilitated discussion, and a town hall question-and-answer format.

Barnhart, a former Rochester television journalist, says she hopes the event spurs a larger turnout at the polls in November.

“In Democratic primary races in the City of Rochester, turnout is historically low,” she says. “Just as concerning as low turnout is the fact that primary voters tend to skew older. Young people also have a stake in these contests.”

Sheppard, former Rochester chief of police, says he’s excited to present his vision and engage young people in that conversation.

“My leadership style is inclusive first and foremost,” he says. “I aim to collect as many different thoughts, ideas and perspectives as possible.”

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