Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Five Questions with David Shenk

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.


David Shenk

The Basics:
Age: 42
Party: Democratic
Job Title: Erie County Comptroller; Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army Reserves
Family: Married to Polly Shenk (formerly France); Charlie and Caesar (our dogs)
Town: Boston
Education: Bachelor’s degree in management from Houghton College, National Emergency Medical Technician Certification and numerous leadership schools in the Army
Salary: $80,615 as Erie County Comptroller; $7,500 as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves 
(Contributed photograph)

The Questions: 

What's one thing people don't know about you?
I have been a fan of professional wrestling since I was a kid. It looks spontaneous but everyone knows there is a script. In a way, it was great preparation for politics.

I also love to help my wife around “The Shenk 1/3 Acre Farm” (when I have time).

What music have you been listening to lately?
I'm more of a talk radio person. When I do put on a CD, it is usually a mix from the eighties or Larry the Cable Guy.

What's your favorite restaurant?
Brunner’s Pizza is a hometown favorite, but lately I’ve been working my through the menu at Gigi’s.

Who is your political hero? 
George Washington. I admire the way he dedicated his life to public service, both in the military and as a civilian. It was such a difficult time in our young nation, and he was leading us through uncharted territory. That time period was a proving ground for America, and I’m glad that so many of our leaders dedicated themselves to a higher purpose, whether it was community, government or military service.

What's the worst part of your job? 
My late mother always taught me that you learn the most important lessons during challenging times, and I keep that in mind as I approach my role as comptroller. I have made it my mission to guard the long-term fiscal health of Erie County, and it can be a struggle to deal with a political culture that is based around short-term thinking.

David Shenk was appointed Erie County Comptroller earlier this year and is running for the seat in the November election. Next Sunday, we'll feature a Five Questions interview with his opponent, Stefan Mychajliw.

-- Denise Jewell Gee


David Shenk | Erie County comptroller | Five Questions
comments powered by Disqus

About Politics Now

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.

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.

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 |

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 |