All Republican eyes are on State Sen. George D. Maziarz of Newfane.
The right to run for the seat of retiring Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds is his for the asking, say all GOP sources. Now he has to decide if he'll ask.
It's a tough call for the veteran Niagara County politico. Retaining the Senate majority ranks as the highest of high priorities for New York Republicans, and that is proving a difficult task as changing demographics throughout the state continue to favor Democrats.
If Maziarz runs for the House of Representatives, it means the GOP will have to pump more money into Western New York for a seat that would be considered safe. That will detract from money that must be dedicated to the seat of retiring Sen. Mary Lou Rath, R-Williamsville, as well as several tough races anticipated on Long Island.
But most see Maziarz as their best bet. They believe Niagara County Republican Chairman Henry F. Wojtaszek will prove the ideal Senate candidate in his stead, and that Western New York will do its part to preserve the Republican majority in the Senate.
And, the 26th Congressional District still boasts about 37,000 more Republicans than Democrats, making it a good place for Maziarz or any other member of the GOP to start.
Still, it's an Easter weekend of soul searching for George Maziarz.
--- Robert J. McCarthy