By Robert J. McCarthy
Erie County Democrats will gather this evening to nominate political activist Kevin P. Gaughan as a substitute candidate for county comptroller - but the move will face opposition.
Zone 4 Chairman Gregory B. Olma said this morning he will fight the move proposed by party leaders and offer an alternative candidate - retiring County Legislator Thomas J. Mazur of Cheektowaga.
"To come up with Kevin Gaughan is a desperate move that will only backfire," Olma said. "I will speak against him and offer an alternative candidate."
Gaughan, who for decades has led regionalism and government consolidation efforts across Western New York, has not yet committed to the offer of party leaders to join the countywide ticket. The opening occurred after the previous Democratic candidate - Lynn Szalkowski - declined for "health reasons."
As a result, party officials are set to offer another choice this evening. It is not known whether Olma has garnered support for nominating a different candidate.