State Senate Race Features ‘Battle of the News Anchors’

By Mark Joyella 

News anchors are used to going head-to-head, but usually they’re after viewers, not voters. In Rochester, a state Senate district race has become “a battle of the news anchors,” with former WHEC anchor Rich Funke, a Republican, running against incumbent Sen. Ted O’Brien.

O’Brien, meanwhile, has released a campaign video featuring another longtime local anchor, in a race that’s pitting newser against newser, as the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle explains:

Longtime R News (now Time Warner Cable News) anchor Diana Palotas appears in a new, minute-long video released Monday by O’Brien’s campaign, touting the Democrat’s work in clearing up a neighborhood dispute over trash dumping while criticizing Funke’s views on abortion.

Palotas was a reporter and anchor for R News from when it launched in 1990 until she left in 2009.

“Like Ted O’Brien’s opponent, Rich Funke, I was a television news anchor for many decades,” Palotas says in the video. “When it comes to getting real results, Ted O’Brien is the only state senate candidate who will stand up for our families. We turned to Ted when the owner of a house in our neighborhood thought he could dump garbage from his other properties right next to our homes. Ted took action immediately and the junk was gone within days.”

Funke, meanwhile, rolled out a video late last month from another former Rochester television reporter: Robin DeWind, his former colleague at WHEC.

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