“From top cop to top dog,” is the way the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle describes it. Robert Duffy has been elected Rochester, New York’s next mayor after resigning as police chief to run for the city’s top job. Duffy never had sought elected office and didn’t win the party’s designation at a Democratic convention in May. Then he won a contentious, four-person Democratic primary in September and defeated three other candidates again Tuesday.
Duffy got 72 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. Republican John Parrinello received 16 percent. The mayor’s race came at a critical time: The economy is struggling, crime is increasing and schools are battling to boost performance. Duffy, 51, a city native, has focused his message on bringing together community leaders to reinvigorate Rochester. Duffy and Parrinello, a hard-charging defense lawyer, dueled throughout the campaign. Parrinello, 67, often tossed accusations and criticisms at the mild-mannered Duffy, once calling him “stone dumb.” But he softened his approach in recent weeks, apologizing to Duffy and talking more about the need for change in a city controlled by Democrats for the past 30 years.