Who will be the next Minority Leader of the Erie County Legislator? We may not know until January 8th, or even later if the caucus cannot decide.
Democrat Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant has been telling people that she will assume the post when the current Majority Caucus becomes the minority in January. Despite her assurances, insiders report that she only has one vote so far – hers. It is believed that longtime Legislator Lynn Marinelli is interested in the leadership role, concerned that she will not be offered the Personnel Commissioner job that was all but promised to her when the Democrats thought that they would retain the majority.
Of course, returning Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams is no fan of Marinelli, but views her as the lesser of two evils when compared to Grant. This creates an opportunity for Legislator Thomas Loughran to step up to the leadership role, but he is believed to not be interested in making the hard decisions necessary to succeed in the post.
Could Barbara Miller-Williams return to her seat as chair? Not a chance. How about newcomer Patrick Burke? Maybe, but the mere mention of him could cause Grant, Marinelli and Loughran to coalesce long enough to form an uneasy alliance, lasting until Grant pursues in earnest her campaign to unseat State Senator Timothy Kennedy.
The Democrats of the new minority caucus will meet on Friday. Topics of discussion will include Minority Leader and how Marinelli's desire to become Personnel Commissioner impacts the selection process.
UPDATE: Nobody was selected as minority leader in Friday's Democrat caucus meeting.