If you're a Democratic committee member in Erie County, chances are you will receive a phone call soon from James J. Eagan, a major fund-raiser who is now very much vying for the party chairmanship.
A financial consultant and commissioner of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Eagan is emphasizing his fund-raising abilities and connections with top Democrats as he makes his case.
"I've raised millions of dollars over the last five years for the Democratic Party," he told Politics Now on Friday. "And there's not a political leader in this state who does not return my phone call."
Indeed, Eagan has been instrumental in raising dollars for county executive candidates and the State Senate. Now he wants to emphasize candidate recruitment by appealing to Democratic ideals.
"If we know what we stand for, we can attract good candidates," he said.
Some observers say Eagan may have financial connections, but no political base from which to launch a serious candidacy. But he says he is not a member of any one local faction looms as his strength.
"I have no faction pushing me and I don't want any faction pushing me," he said.
Others being mentioned for the job include Lackawanna Chairman Francis Warthling, Cheektowaga Chairman Frank C. Max Jr., former Mayor Anthony M. Masiello, and Legislature Chief of Staff Jeremy J. Zellner.
--Robert J. McCarthy