In a vital boost to two key Erie County re-election campaigns, the New York State Independence Party today announced their endorsements of Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and Sheriff Timothy Howard.
In a press release, party leaders said they paid close attention to the candidates' records of independence, standing up to special interests and fighting for taxpayers. By earning the I-line, the two Republicans now offer county Democrats a way to vote for them in November without casting a ballot for the GOP - an important option in Democrat-heavy Erie County.
"Comptroller Mychajliw is an independent watchdog, a much needed check and balance of the Erie County Executive and Legislature," said New York State Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay. "He has proven his independence by holding politicians accountable and fighting for the people of Erie County."
The Party also cited Sheriff Howard's eight years of service as driving their endorsement. "He has stood up to the State and Federal government bureaucrats when they were wrong and has put the safety of Erie County residents as his top priority every single day," MacKay said.
This is the second year in a row Comptroller Mychajliw earned the endorsement of the Independence Party. Sheriff Howard successfully ran on the Independence Party line in 2009.
Mychajliw often acknowledges the Independence Party's important impact on his election and the role the Party will play in his re-election. "The people of Erie County are best served by having a strong, independent watchdog that has the backbone to stand up to special interests on behalf of taxpayers. I thank Chairman Frank McKay and the Independence Party Committee for their endorsement and support," he said.
"I take my oath to uphold the Constitution very seriously. It is my honor to show my independence by defending taxpayers and the Constitution," Howard said. "I am grateful for the continued support of Chairman MacKay and the New York State Independence Party."
The path to County-wide victory in November just narrowed a bit for Erie County Democrats, but no insiders thought the Independence Party might endorse the Democrat slate. Democrat Chairman Jeremy Zellner and other senior party activists have long been calculating their victories without factoring in Independence Party support.