Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Filling in the Blank
Next story: Don't Heckle Hizzoner!

Hoyt Endorses Kearns

Assemblyman says South District councilmember shares his progressive agenda

On Wednesday afternoon, mayoral candidate Mickey Kearns inaugurated his new campaign headquarters on Niagara Street with a very special guest: Assemblymember Sam Hoyt, who endorsed Kearns’s candidacy.

Hoyt’s endorsement of a challenger—any challenger—to incumbent Byron Brown is hardly a surprise: The mayor and his chief political operative, Deputy Mayor Steve Casey, have cast Hoyt as political enemy #1 since Brown and Hoyt both began preparing to succeed Tony Masiello as mayor in 2005. Hoyt bowed out of that race, in large part to spare his family the certainty that his opponents would publicize outing an affair he’d had the year before—a revelation that was served cold during his re-election campaign last year, when he was challenged in the Democratic primary by former Common Council member Barbra Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh enjoyed the support of Brown and Casey, along with Steve Pigeon, who spent a hefty sum of Tom Golisano’s Responsible New York money on the effort to unseat Hoyt. It’s generally assumed that Pigeon and Casey fed email evidence of the affair to the news media.

So it’s no surprise that Hoyt should support Kearns. But, reached by phone Wednesday morning, Hoyt said his endorsement was more than a rejection of the Brown administration.

“I just think Buffalo can do better,” Hoyt said. “We need strong leadership that can be independent of political forces, that can unite communities. I think Mickey can do that. He’s not a career politican, he’s relatively new to government, with substantial private sector experience. He’s born and bred in Buffalo, which I think is important.”

Hoyt allows that his support is hardly an equalizer in the race. Kearns remains an underdog, who cannot bring to bear the money or manpower at Brown’s disposal. “I don’t control a political machine that brings hundreds of campaign workers and access to money,” Hoyt said. “My endorsement sends a message to those who support my progressive agenda that I believe in Mickey and his commitment to a similar agenda.”

The Hispanic organization Nosotros reiterated its endorsement of Kearns on Wednesday, and Niagara District Councilmember David Rivera was on hand to demonstrate his support, too.

The ongoing feud between the Brown and Hoyt camps colors all city politics and, from time to time, its governance, often to the detriment of both. Now, with Hoyt’s endorsement, the mayoral race between Kearns and Brown may write another chapter in the saga.

geoff kelly

blog comments powered by Disqus