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Ex-mayor Johnson jumps back in ring

A former three-term mayor of Rochester is wearing his old political hat again.

Democrat William Johnson, a political outsider when he became the city’s first black mayor in 1994, has announced his candidacy for a March 29 special election to succeed Robert Duffy, who is now New York’s lieutenant governor.

The 68-year-old Johnson stepped down in 2005 after three four-year terms. He said he’s running again to give voters a choice among Democrats.

Duffy was in his second term as mayor last May when he became Andrew Cuomo’s choice to join his run for governor. He was replaced by Acting Mayor Thomas Richards, a party favorite who resigned after just 18 days in office to clear the path for him to compete in the spring election.