Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Jeremy Zellner has made it no secret that one of his top priorities this year is taking out incumbent County Legislator Joe Lorigo. Unfortunately for the embattled chair, his mission to do this lacks support from the most influential people in his party.
Nearly all of the Democratic Town Chairs in Lorigo's district are refusing to help his opponent, Democrat candidate Lauren Gray. To add insult to injury, one of his party's most prominent and popular elected officials has now released an endorsement of Lorigo.
City of Buffalo Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder has made it official: he is backing Joe Lorigo for re-election, and he will work to ensure that it happens.
"I wanted to vocally support Joe Lorigo because he is the type of candidate we need for the future. He understands families are struggling and we need to do more to help small businesses create jobs. I have been very impressed by his work ethic and the stances he takes on behalf of the taxpayers, and that's why I am happy to endorse him for Erie County Legislature," Schroeder said in a statement.
This is the third endorsement Schroeder has made for the Legislature, a body he once served in. Earlier this year he endorsed Pat Burke in a Democratic Primary race against Rick Zydell and Lynne Dearmyer. Burke won the Primary and will likely win the general election in a few weeks. Shortly thereafter, the Comptroller shocked many of his followers by endorsing Legislator Lynne Dixon for re-election. He did so at an event he hosted in her honor, and made it clear that he backs her 100 percent.
All three endorsements have put Schroeder at odds with party leadership. That doesn't seem to bother him much: he was a lone Democrat voice against State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and that cost him dearly. Blowback is not likely in Buffalo, where he could be the most popular Democrat in town.
Lorigo released a statement expressing his gratitude for the endorsement and praised Schroeder for embodying the true meaning of public service by putting people over politics. This endorsement will surely help Lorigo gain the support of Democrats in West Seneca, which may fuel his re-election victory on November 5th.