From the Morning Memo:

From outsider to party darling, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren capped off a four year journey Thursday evening, getting the Monroe County Democratic Committee designation for the seat. Warren beat her closest opponent by roughly 17 percent to gain the party’s support – an impressive feat, given just months ago many observers were speculating the incumbent wouldn’t even win.

“As I told everyone back in January, the people of this committee have to vote, which is why anyone to make assumptions back in January, you don’t know until the people of this committee make their voices heard and they clearly did by designating the mayor as our candidate,” Dem Chairwoman Jamie Romeo said.

Nobody knows better than Warren, how little the designation can mean. In 2013, she upset party-endorsed candidate Tom Richards.

Now the presumptive favorite, Warren will face stiff primary challenges from former Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard and well-known former reporter Rachel Barnhart. Still, the mayor expects the bad luck streak for mainstream candidates to stop with her.
“I won the last time and I plan on winning this time,” she said. “I think that the fact that we were able to reach across the aisles and get support where we didn’t have support before is very important here and I think that the fact that we are continuing to move our community forward is important.”

In fact, Warren isn’t only accepting the party’s support, she’s indicated she plans on taking a bigger leadership role with local Dems. During her speech she talked about the party getting its “own house in order” and told reporters she sees her newfound popularity within the committee as an opportunity.

“I think that we have work to do and I’m willing to sit at a table and to work on what we need to work on, but you can’t want to move forward by yourself,” she said. “You have to have people that want to come with you. You can’t lead people that don’t want to follow.”

Romeo said she’s not surprised the mayor is talking about unity. She said it’s been a common theme in Monroe County and just about everywhere else for Democrats these days.

“What we’re seeing happen at the federal level of government and just so many people across the whole county, city and county, are reaching out looking at their political leaders, saying what are you guys doing about this and I think that all of our leaders are going to be stepping up in ways we haven’t seen them do it before,” she said.