By Robert J. McCarthy
The Erie County Democratic Committee will issue its first endorsement under new Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner Wednesday evening by lining up behind Surrogate Judge Barbara Howe for re-election to a second, 10-year term.
As a Democrat, the move comes as no surprise for Howe, with the only real question looming being whether Republicans will issue a cross-endorsement later this year. But the endorsement is considered significant as the first issued by Zellner's organization.
"Endorsements are one of the primary functions of a county party," Zellner said. "You are saying to the public: 'This individual represents the ideals of our party.' On the campaign trail, they become ambassadors to the community, so you want to make sure you are choosing wisely.
"With that in mind, I am proud to announce that Judge Barbara Howe will be the first candidate that the Erie County Democratic Committee endorses during my tenure as chairman," he added.
Howe, 65, was elected to Buffalo City Court in 1987, to State Supreme Court in 1992, and was the first woman elected as surrogate in 2003.