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.