By Robert J. McCarthy
Nine candidates expressing interest in the County Legislature seat recently vacated by veteran Democrat Lynn M. Marinelli are slated to appear Monday evening before Democratic officials, who are expected to recommend a new legislator no sooner than the body's Feb. 20 meeting.
Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner said he is not committed to any one of the prospective legislators. He also said he does not believe any one candidate has yet secured enough votes to guarantee a recommendation to be submitted to the Legislature's four Democrats.
The candidates are Christopher Becker, Jennifer L. Diagostino, Joel P. Feroleto, Michele M. Iannello, Patrick Mang, Jason M. McCarthy, Patrick J. Ruffino, Peter J. Savage III, and Amber A. Small.
Various candidates bring their own constituencies, however. Savage, for example, is a deputy corporation counsel for the City of Buffalo who is close to Mayor Byron W. Brown, while Iannello is a former legislator married to Democratic Elections Commissiner Dennis E. Ward, a close Zellner ally.
McCarthy, meanwhile, is a member of the Buffalo Board of Education, while Mang is mayor of Kenmore.
Zellner said no timetable for filling the post has been set, though it may happen at the Legislature's Feb. 20 meeting.