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Five Questions with Stefan Mychajliw

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.


Stefan Mychajliw, a former television reporter, is running for county comptroller. (Harry Scull Jr./ Buffalo News)

Stefan Iwan Mychajliw Jr.

The Basics:
Age: 38
Party: Endorsed Republican, Independence and Conservative candidate for Erie County Comptroller
Job Title: Business owner, co-founder of “Profit Media Group” public relations firm
Family: Youngest of seven children, proud father of our 6-year-old daughter Mia, who, thank heavens, has her mother’s brains and good looks
Town: Buffalo’s East Side, grew up near William and Fillmore, now lives in Kaisertown
Education: Elementary school: Buffalo Public School No. 33; high school: Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts; college: Syracuse University

The Questions: 
What's one thing people don't know about you?
I try hard to be the best father possible, manage our business and run a campaign. As crazy as my schedule is, I set aside one hour a week, every Friday morning from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., to meditate, pray and give thanks before the Blessed Sacrament at Christ the King Church. When not in campaign season, I also volunteer for a Christian prison ministry program called “Keryx” inside the Gowanda Correctional Facility. We spend four days inside the prison during our retreats, giving faith-based talks and providing examples of unconditional love for inmates. I’m a firm believer in second chances.

What music have you been listening to lately?
I’m a huge Dave Matthews Band fan. I hit the road to catch some of their shows outside of Western New York, including Canada and Ohio. One of the best concerts I’ve been to: Jack Johnson, Donavon Frankenreiter and G-Love in Baltimore. I love Frank Sinatra as well. When I was a photojournalist in Syracuse, I was able to videotape one of his concerts at their War Memorial Auditorium.

What's your favorite restaurant? 
It’s long gone now, but a great memory when I was a kid is of my mother taking me to the old “Sheffy’s Restaurant” at the corner of William and Fillmore, by our house. It was a treat to eat out, and they served great chocolate milkshakes. It is important to support locally owned restaurants. Many of my favorite “neighborhood” haunts are Whiechecs and Lucky’s on Clinton, Charlie O’Brien’s on Elk, Frank’s Sunny Italy on Delaware, Daisies Café in Lackawanna and you can never go wrong with the Anchor Bar on Main.

Who is your political hero? 
Harry Truman. The reason why our region has been in steady decline for decades is that we keep electing “leaders” who care more about politics and self-preservation than the people they are supposed to serve. We desperately need people in public office who will govern based on doing what is right, without a care in the world about getting re-elected. President Truman strongly and proudly served our nation at a critical time. He made tough decisions not based on polling, popular opinion or whether or not his choices would hurt his election efforts.

What's the worst part of your job? 
I can’t complain about hitting the campaign trail seven days a week, often from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. My family suffered tremendously fleeing a communist regime in order to give me a wonderful life with many opportunities in our free country. If the biggest challenge I face is meeting great people across Erie County all day and night long, I consider myself blessed and fortunate. Life is great. Who am I to complain about hard work? It builds character. Humility and hard work will lead to success in November.

Stefan Mychajliw is running for Erie County Comptroller. Last Sunday, we featured a Five Questions interview with his opponent, David Shenk.

-- Denise Jewell Gee


David Shenk | Erie County comptroller | Five Questions | Stefan Mychajliw
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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.

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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.

@JerryZremski |