Give Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren credit for showing up at a televised debate between her and her opponent in the city’s mayoral race on Tuesday night, knowing that her husband’s arrest on drug and gun charges was going to be one of the major points of discussion.
However, her opponent, city council member Malik Evans, didn’t press Warren too hard over the unregistered guns found in her home, even when she dubiously claimed she had no idea about her husband’s alleged illegal activity.
“I did not know about the guns or the drugs,” Warren said. “I do not own the guns or drugs. And I have, and will continue, to move our community forward.”
But on that issue and all the others, both candidates refrained from attacking or even interrupting each other during the course of the hour-long debate.
After the debate, Evans said it was instead important to remain on message. Mayor Warren did not speak with media following the debate.
“Mrs. Smith on Smith Street is concerned about not having enough money to eat,” Evans said. “It’s important because we are in a city where we had 130 people shot so far this year. So the issues are so critical for our community going forward.”
It’s telling that Warren had no issue debating her fellow Democrat but wouldn’t take any questions from the local press corps afterwards. After all, the local reporters couldn’t be counted on to play nice, as Malik Evans did, and they’d likely have had far more pointed questions for the mayor than what she faced during the debate itself.
As for Evans’ assertion that kitchen table issues are more important than the conduct of the mayor and her husband, you’d think that for many residents, Lovely Warren (who’s facing a criminal probe of her own into alleged campaign finance wrongdoing) and her husband are part of the problem of growing lawlessness and crime in the city.
That might not be the case, however. A new poll shows that the arrest of Warren’s husband has actually made some residents more likely to vote for her in the upcoming election.
When asked about the recent news of Mayor Warren’s husband being arrested, 83% of Democratic voters polled said they are following the story somewhat, or very closely. Only 4% of likely voters said they have not heard about the issue.
However, a plurality of voters, 39%, said the news of the arrest makes them more likely to vote for Warren. 2% said they were less likely to vote for her, while 36% said the news has no impact on their voting decision.
That’s about the only good news for Warren in the poll, however, which found her trailing Malik Evans by ten points among likely voters.
Can it really be that just 2% of likely voters say the guns found in her home and her husband’s arrest on drug charges make it less likely that they’ll vote for her, given her anti-gun actions and attitudes since she’s been in office? And if so, what does that say about the true demand for gun control among voters in the city?
I suspect that at least some of those Democrats who say her husband’s arrest and the allegations of drug trafficking won’t have an impact on their vote are simply lying, but I’m sure that many of Warren’s backers believer her argument that the entire seven-month investigation into cocaine distribution in the city was politically motivated and designed to hurt her bid for re-election.
For Second Amendment supporters in the city, it really doesn’t matter if Lovely Warren or Malik Evans wins the Democratic primary. Whoever ends up as the Democratic candidate is likely to cruise to a victory in the general election and continue with the anti-gun grandstanding that hasn’t done a thing to actually reduce violent crime in Rochester.