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Mayor Tom Richards received the endorsement of the city's Democratic Committee, naming Richards as the party's candidate in September's mayoral race.
In order to receive the party's formal endorsement, any candidate running for citywide office must win a majority of the citywide weighted vote.
According to the committee, Richards has won 72% of the vote, enough to allow him to clinch the designation with three committees yet to meet.
"The three committees that have not met are predominantly African-American committees and the committees that have met are not," city councilman Adam McFadden said.
Those committees represent a large African-American population. McFadden represents the 19th ward, which is the most diverse democratic district in the city.
"To have that population left out is totally un-American, but is something the Democratic party has done in this city as long as I've been involved in politics, 19th ward resident George Lindner said.
Lovely Warren's campaign said in a statement that by leaving out those votes, "Joe Morelle and Tom Richards are essentially saying is that the votes and voices of the people in these neighborhoods don't matter in this process."
Richards said his campaign is not about race and that people can judge him on his past term.
"I'm just not going to engage in that type of conclusion. Nobody who has worked as hard as I have and is engaged as much as I have in the city can say that somehow I don't represent or don't attempt to serve all the population," Richards said.
"I don't think this is about race, " McFadden said. "This is about inclusiveness and making sure that every vote is counted."
McFadden believes the mayoral race will be split and a very close one.
Richards' designation is expected to be formalized at the County Democratic Convention next month.