Challengers Reveal Themselves, and Other Notes
by Geoff Kelly
Assemblyman Mark Schroeder last Saturday declared himself a candidate for Buffalo City Comptroller, the seat vacated by Andy SanFilippo. Erie County Legislator Maria Whyte was supposed to announce her candidacy for that post the day before Schroeder but cancelled her press conference. It’s been suggested that deal is in the works, wherein Whyte would be named interim Erie County Clerk, filling the vacancy created by Kathy Hochul’s victory in the 26th Congressional District special election, in exchange for clearing Schroeder’s path. Schroeder still may have to face Democrat Aaron Siegel, who has not yet formally announced his candidacy but who is a finance professional and has substantial political allies.
• If Schroeder wins, don’t be surprised if South District Councilman Mickey Kearns emerges as a leading candidate to fill Schroeder’s Assembly seat—or if the filling of the subsequent vacancy on the Common Council reveals a detente between Kearns and Congressman Brian Higgins, with whom he has often feuded.
• This Saturday, former Buffalo School Board member Pamela Cahill will announce that she is challenging University District Councilwoman Bonnie Russell. Community activist Aaron Jackson, who spoke against the Common Council’s redistricting plan at the mayor’s public hearing on Monday, planned to challenge Russell as well, but the redistricting plan moves his residence into the Masten District, so he’s out.
• We’re told that former Erie County Board of Elections commissioner Larry Adamczyk will challenge Fillmore District Councilman Dave Franczyk. This might result in an interesting twist to ancient ethnic political trickery: Adamczyk and Franczyk could split the white vote in the new Fillmore district, which now includes most of Allentown, easing the way for an African-American candidate.
• Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered the beasts of Western New York’s Democratic field to create a peaceable kingdom. Cuomo has made it clear to the continuously feuding locals—through threats, promises, and deal-brokering—that their only job this fall is to unseat Erie County Executive Chris Collins. No bickering or backstabbing will be tolerated. Thus did two of the Erie County Legislature’s three rogue Democrats return to their caucus last week, politically isolating Chair Barbara Miller-Williams, and thus has it been made clear to Mayor Byron Brown and Deputy Mayor Steve Casey that they must support (or at least not undermine) the candidacy of Collins’s Democratic challenger, Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz, despite their cozy relationship with the Republican.
—geoff kellyblog comments powered by Disqus
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