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Five Questions with Thomas J. Mazur

Every Sunday, we'll publish a quick Q&A with someone from the local political world. Instead of touching on the latest in policy issues and proposed legislation, the intent is to catch a glimpse of the person behind the title. The interviews are done via email.

Mazur
Erie County Legislator Thomas J. Mazur, left, and Legislator-elect Timothy Hogues celebrate their victories election night in Buffalo. (Derek Gee/ Buffalo News)

Thomas J. Mazur

The Basics:
Age: I turned 21 in Vietnam, and I voted absentee ballot for Richard Nixon because I thought he was going to stop the war.
Party: Democrat.
Job Title: 7th District Legislator and Legislature Majority Leader (part Cheektowaga/part Buffalo).
Family: Wife, Mary Grace; son, Luke; daughters, Malina, Kellie and Julie.
Town: Cheektowaga.
Education: Bishop Turner High School; U.S. Army School of Finance; SUNY Buffalo, bachelor of arts (Sociology); SUNY Buffalo, master's degree (Humanities).
Salary: $47,588.

The Questions: 
What's one thing people don't know about you?
I have two birth certificates. When I was born my father wanted me to be named Luke, and so I was. But my aunts got to my mother and said that I would be teased in school. Kids would be saying "Look, look, here comes Luke." Two months later, my mom relented and changed my name to Thomas.

What music have you been listening to lately?
I have a wide range of music tastes. I am disappointed that my favorite radio station, The Lake, is no longer aired in Western New York, but I listen to rock, pop, jazz, blues, classical and musicals. As a gift this Christmas I received the Broadway production of "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris."

What's your favorite restaurant? 
My taste in food is like my taste in music. My family and I always make it a point to visit the Taste of Buffalo. And by doing that, we discover many interesting places. But over the years, we have probably frequented Wiechec's the most. Because they are a neighborhood place and family owned and operated, we always feel welcome and comfortable there.

Who is your political hero? 
I have a few. Vaclav Havel, because of his drama and poetry. Lech Walesa, because of his solidarity. Martin Luther King Jr., because of his sense of justice. The Dali Lama, because of his mindfulness and compassion. Mother Teresa, because she may have questioned her faith, but never stopped following her heart.

What's the worst part of your job? 
Having a promising proposal be stalled because of partisan politics or the inability to find common ground.

-- Denise Jewell Gee

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Erie County Legislature | Five Questions | Thomas J. Mazur
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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

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Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

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Jill Terreri

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Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

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