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Conservatives still undecided in county comptroller race

Erie County Conservatives met Thursday night without answering one of the big questions of the 2012 political season: Whom will they back for county comptroller?

Chairman Ralph C. Lorigo said a number of questions still face his party's Executive Committee after interviewing four candidates and delaying a recommendation until next Thursday.

Democrats included interim Comptroller David J. Shenk, appointed by the County Legislature earlier this year; and George F. Hasiotis, a businessman and former Water Authority commissioner. Republicans included Stefan Mychajliw, a Channel 2 political commentator and campaign spokesman for former County Executive Chris Collins; and Todd Aldinger, a Princeton economics graduate who serves on the staff of State Sen. Patrick Gallivan.

Lorigo said all bring various strengths and weaknesses to the process, prompting the committee to request further deliberation.

In other action, the Conservatives reversed course from the March 24 special election for the Assembly and backed incumbent Democrat Michael P. Kearns. The party had nominated Christopher J. Fahey for the special election, won by Kearns.

"I reached out to him," Lorigo said. "He said he would be very proud to carry our endorsement and I am very glad."

Lorigo said the committee also backed Joseph Mascia, a Democrat, for the Assembly seat now held by Democrat Sean M. Ryan.

In another important development, Conservatives will back Christopher P. Scanlon for the South District Council seat to which he was appointed last week.

The party nominated nobody for the seat now held by Democrat Timothy M. Kennedy, but officially named Democrat Charles M. Swanick as its candidate for the seat now held by Republican Mark J. Grisanti. It also backed Republicans Gallivan and Michael H. Ranzenhofer for re-election to the Senate.

Other Assembly endorsements include Democrats Dennis H. Gabryszak and Robin L. Schimminger, as well as Republicans Jane L. Corwin and Raymond W. Walter.

--Robert J. McCarthy

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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.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


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.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


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.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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