We like him, but please don't vote for him.
That seems to be the message coming from the state Working Families Party.
In June, State Sen. William T. Stachowski, D-Lake View, won the party's backing in his bid to win re-election to his Southtowns Senate seat.
Now, Working Families Party officials are asking party members in the 58th State Senate district race to vote for Timothy M. Kennedy, who beat Stachowski in the September Democratic primary.
Top Working Families officials this month sent a letter to registered party voters urging them to support Kennedy, an Erie County legislator from South Buffalo, over Stachowski because they want to make sure the Democrats hold onto the Stachowski seat. (YNN's State of Politics blog initially reported on the letter and The Buffalo News later obtained its own copy from the Working Families Party.)
Kennedy is facing a tough challenge from endorsed Republican candidate Jack F. Quinn III, the Assembly member from Hamburg, in a closely watched race that will be settled on Tuesday. The winner in this district could help determine which party holds power in the State Senate come January.
The Working Families Party officials conceded that Democrats have been "a pretty big disappointment" in their 21 months or so in control of the Senate. But they said the Republicans would be even worse and Kennedy is better than Quinn on the key issues that the party and its members care about.
The officials also said a vote for Stachowski is a wasted vote because he no longer is campaigning for the seat. Stachowski remains on the ballot on the Working Families and Independence party lines, while Kennedy has the Democratic and Conservative lines and Quinn has the GOP and Taxpayer lines.
Stachowski couldn't be reached to comment Thursday afternoon. He has not publicly endorsed Kennedy and he told The News earlier this month that he hasn't entirely given up campaigning.
--- Stephen T. Watson