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Giambra floats Democratic backing for Republican Grisanti


  By Robert J. McCarthy

   Former Republican County Executive Joel A. Giambra, a trusted adviser to State Sen. Mark J. Grisanti, remains focused on how best to preserve his Repubican protege in an overwhelmingly Democratic district.

   Indeed, The Buffalo News reported just short of a year ago that Giambra was counseling Grisanti to join the Independence Party. The theory then was that Grisanti had carved out his own popular niche while proving a survivor. Democrats and Republicans would field their own candidates in future elections, allowing him to split the defense and run down the middle.

  And once in Albany, Grisanti could caucus with whichever party he wanted.

   That never happened. But several sources report that Giambra is now proposing that Democrats authorize Republican Grisanti to also run on their line this year, assuming he survives a Republican primary threatened by Kevin Stocker of Kenmore.

    Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner said he and Giambra have engaged only in fleeting conversations about the possibility, but have not talked seriously.

   Giambra was not available for comment on Wednesday, but the sources familiar with the idea say major opposition is already developing in both the Democratic and Republican parties.

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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.

[email protected]


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.

[email protected]


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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]

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