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Independence Push for Richards Rankles Warren Supporters

The mayor has said he will not participate in the campaign.
Supporters of Democratic mayoral candidate Lovely Warren want Mayor Tom Richards to issue a more definitive statement that he is out of the race.

"I really think that if he's out of the race, let the folks know that work for him that he's out of the race," said City Concilman Adam McFadden.

Sunday night, the Independence Party sent out a news release saying it is urging people to vote for Richards, who dropped out of the race after his loss to Warren.

Monday, Richards sent out a statement saying he was sticking with his commitment to end his campaign and that he was not consulted about the Independence Party move. He did not say he would not serve if elected.

Democratic Party Chairman Joe Morelle believes the campaign is "an exercise in futility." He has backed Warren since her primary win.

"It certainly isn't condoned by the mayor. It isn't authorized by the mayor. I think he made that clear," Morelle said.

As for whether Richards should make that even more clear, Morelle said he can't tell him what to do. 

"If Tom Richards is in the race, he should tell you he's in the race," said Green Party mayoral candidate Alex White.

"It's sad they have put him in this position while he's grieving but only he can answer this," said Warren.

Richards is expected to make further comment on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, we've learned about Democrats who are helping the Independence Party in this effort. City spokesman Gary Walker and fire administrator Molly Clifford are among those who are on board. So is Ken Warner the head of UNICON and Clifford's partner, and Patricia McCarthy, Richards' former campaign manager and friend of Morelle.

Warner is in hot water with the board of UNICON. Some unions have endorsed Warren.

None of the Richards supporters would say how much money they've raised. No one other than a Democrat has been elected to citywide office in more than two decades, as Democrats have a huge enrollment advantage. 
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