Updated: 9:00 AM ET May 23
Rodriguez takes Manhattan - but the GOP endorsement?
New York City sources say Buffalo Republican Mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez is guest of honor at a Metropolitan Club event on Friday afternoon. National and statewide Latino and GOP leaders are hosting the event; Rodriguez's family in the area are helping put the meeting together.
If a Buffalo politician travels to Manhattan for a fundraiser, it's not big news. That's where the political donors live and work. But this is not a fundraiser for Rodriguez; he is slated to simply brief the room on his campaign for Mayor. Also: State Republican Committee members are said to be involved in the event. It seems some outside Buffalo are interested.
Those same downstate sources say state GOP leaders are encouraging Erie County Republican chairman Nick Langworthy to endorse the Marine, underlining the important message and milestone an Hispanic Republican candidate sends in the present national political environment. Langworthy has not made a habit of working to please Albany, but he's also said he has not ruled out an endorsement.
Updated: 12:00 AM ET May 23
Orchard Park Dems to challenge GOPer Majchrzak?
Is this finally the year the Orchard Park Democrats field a successful candidate for the Town Board election? Insiders say Sue Cushman, OP Dem Chairwoman, and Erie County Dem Chairman Jeremy Zellner finally see an opening to gain the majority on the town council by challenging GOP incumbent Gene Majchrzak for the four-year seat. Conservative Party insiders say Cushman has reached out to them to discuss a potential endorsement for their Democrat Board candidate and incumbent Democratic Supervisor Janis Colarusso. All of this comes as Majchrzak is reportedly under the microscope of deadly reporter Jim Heaney from "Investigative Post" for reasons not yet known.
Updated: 12:00 AM ET May 22
Boston GOPers win Conservative nod?
Insiders say Republican Town of Boston elected officials have swiped the Conservative Party endorsement from local Democrats for the first time since Gene Shenk passed in 2011. The late Boston Conservative Party chairman routinely assured the C line went to Dems. When news of the GOP breakout circulated ahead of the Wednesday night endorsement interview meeting, sources say Boston Democrat stalwart Billy Eagan threw a screaming fit at Conservative town chair Jim Pluta. Pluta is a close ally of county chair Ralph Lorigo, who favored the Republican incumbents. Some say Eagan has vowed to call his brother for help - State Democrat Party secretary and Cuomo pal Jim Eagan.
Updated: 12:00 AM ET May 14
Manna to challenge Weinstein in Amherst?
Insiders say Democrat Amherst Town Councilman Mark Manna is poised to challenge Town of Amherst Supervisor Barry Weinstein, a popular Republican. Dr. Weinstein, 69, has served as Supervisor since 2009.
Updated: 9:00 AM ET May 10
Zellner to endorse Brown?
Reliable sources say Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner will endorse Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown for re-election in the hours ahead. If true, this is may signal an uneasy peace between Zellner and Brown ally Steve Pigeon, the former Dem chairman who's out for Zellner's scalp. With Brown's primary challenger Bernie Tolbert set to announce his campaign Saturday
, look for confirmation from the ECDC shortly.
Updated: 12:00 AM ET May 7
McCracken dropping out today?
Tongues are wagging in the Rath Building with the latest rumor: Erie County Legislator Terry McCracken will drop out of his race for re-election today. The incumbent is unlikely to win the Conservative Party nod
and sources say he has declining support from his own committee. There is growing speculation he may lose the Town of Lancaster Democratic Committee endorsement. If McCracken does drop out, his primary challenger Wes Moore would stand alone on the Democrat side and face Republican Ted Morton in the general.
Updated: 12:00 AM ET April 22
Is Kaczor Angling for OP Supervisor Appointment?
Well placed sources inside the Town of Orchard Park Republican Committee say sitting Councilman David Kaczor dropped out of his Town Board race this year because he's bought into a better plan. Rumor has it he has been told Democrat Town Supervisor Jan Colarusso will run again but step down after she wins, allowing the Republican-controlled Town Board to appoint Kaczor as Supervisor. Meanwhile, the local GOP is leaving Pat Keem, the Republican candidate for supervisor, to fend for himself without an endorsement in his race against Colarusso.
Updated: 12:00 AM ET April 19
County Vet Services Director Fired?
Sources inside the Rath Building are reporting that Erie County Veteran's Services Director Maj. Carlos M. Benitez (Ret.) was fired yesterday, and escorted out of the building. The administration has not yet issued a formal statement on the firing, but it is alleged he was removed from his post for having difficulty in getting along with others and creating a hostile work environment. Insiders say former County Comptroller David Shenk is set to step into Benitez' position.
Updated: 9:00 AM ET April 16
McMahon May Take On Hardwick
Erie County pols are saying former Town of Grand Island Supervisor Pete McMahon is a breath away from announcing he will challenge Republican County Legislator Kevin Hardwick. The Democrat was defeated in his own 2011 re-election by Republican Mary Cooke in an unusual year where the incumbent supervisors of Lancaster, Clarence and West Seneca were also sent packing. Coming out of Grand Island, McMahon's strength is drawn from Hardwick's base.
Updated: 8:00 AM ET April 16
ProgDems Fraiser Buzz is Huge in GOP
Days later, the buzz around Frank Max's Progressive Democrats fundraiser on Saturday is rebounding in Republican ranks. Republican County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and Clerk Chris Jacobs were spotted front and center at the annual fundraising breakfast. Conservative Party Chairman Ralph Lorigo, GOP Legislator Joe Lorigo, Mary Rose Gaughan from the Independence Party, and other outsiders attended to publicly support a Democrat Chairman from Cheektowaga.
Most impressive: 700 people paid to attend the event. No matter how you slice it, that's remarkable.
Republicans are still talking about the fundraiser, with one elected official describing the room as so full they were counting heads to stay under the fire code limits. And two county-wide GOP officers on hand - both at the top of the November ballot? Is there a new alliance forming ala enemy of my enemy is my friend?
"The event showed the strength and power behind Frank Max. Especially when Sam Hoyt took the podium, representing the Governor, and praised Frank's leadership," said a Republican in attendance. "It all boils down to it being an issue of having and flexing political muscle."
Updated: 12:00 AM ET April 15
Max Doesn't Take Hospitality To the Max for Zellner
Rumor on the mean streets of Cheektowaga has it that Erie County Democratic Chair, Jeremy Zellner, stopped by Frank Max's annual breakfast fundraiser last Saturday to show some support, and Max sent some people out to stop the Chairman of the Party from coming into the event. Maybe there just wasn't enough bacon to go around. The Chairman apparently dropped off his check and said some hellos, and then headed out without even a slice of toast. Wonder whether Max will take the next classy step and actually cash the check.