LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — The incumbent mayors of Buffalo and Rochester are among candidates ahead in a Siena College poll of likely upstate Democratic mayoral primary voters released Sunday.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has a 63-30 percentage-point lead over Bernie Tolbert as he seeks a third term, the poll showed. In Rochester, the poll found Mayor Thomas Richards leading City Council President Lovely Warren, 63-27.
And Albany City Treasurer Kathy Sheehan led Corey Ellis 68-20 to succeed retiring Mayor Jerry Jennings. Sheehan was viewed favorably by 76 percent of likely primary voters and Ellis by 58 percent.
"As a popular incumbent mayor prepares to step down, opening the way for the city's first new mayor in two decades — and only the fourth mayor in seven decades — Sheehan is poised to capture the Democratic nomination, tantamount to victory in this overwhelmingly Democratic city," Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement.
In Buffalo, Greenberg said, Brown is better known and viewed more favorably than Tolbert, with 63 percent of likely voters saying Brown is doing an excellent or good job as mayor. He said 78 percent of voters say Buffalo is headed on the right track.
The winner of the race in Democrat-dominated Buffalo will face Republican Sergio Rodriguez in the general election.
Republicans aren't fielding a candidate in Rochester, where Richards is seeking election to his first full term after winning a special election in 2011 when Mayor Robert Duffy was elected lieutenant governor. Greenberg said Warren is well-known and viewed favorably by better than a 2-to-1 margin, but Richards has a 4-to-1 favorability rating and more than two-thirds of likely voters think he's doing an excellent or good job as mayor.
The Siena surveys were conducted Sept. 3-5 in Albany and Rochester and Sept. 3-6 in Buffalo in partnership with media outlets. Each included phone surveys of just over 500 likely Democratic primary voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
Siena Poll: www.siena.edu/SRI/SNY