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Zellner: Gaughan a 'damn good Democrat'

By Jill Terreri

Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner said he would try to incorporate supporters of Kevin Gaughan, a regionalism advocate who lost his bid to be Erie County's next comptroller, into the party. 

Gaughan cares deeply for taxpayers and reform "and is a damn good Democrat," Zellner said before Gaughan spoke to a small crowd gathered in Erie County Democratic headquarters. "He did everything we asked of him." 

Gaughan's downsizing efforts have not pleased some party leaders in the past, on both sides of the aisle. 

Continue reading "Zellner: Gaughan a 'damn good Democrat'" »

Five Questions with Chris Jacobs

Every Sunday, we'll publish a quick Q&A with someone from the local political world. Instead of touching on the latest in policy issues and proposed legislation, the intent is to catch a glimpse of the person behind the title. The interviews are done via email.

Chris Jacobs
Chris Jacobs at his campaign headquarters on Main Street in Buffalo in October. ( Sharon Cantillon/ Buffalo News)

Chris Jacobs

The Basics:
Age: 45
Party: Republican
Job Title: Erie County clerk
Town: City of Buffalo
Education: Canisius High School; law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo; MBA from American University, Washington, D.C.; and a bachelor of arts degree from Boston College
Salary: $79,092

Continue reading "Five Questions with Chris Jacobs" »

Jacobs accepting resumes for first deputy clerk

Chris Jacobs says he's created a committee to help choose a new first deputy county clerk.

Jacobs, a Republican who campaigned on a no-patronage job promise, announced Tuesday he is accepting resumes for his top deputy clerk.

The job of first deputy clerk, which is responsible for many of the day-to-day operations in the Erie County Clerk's Office, is currently filled by John Crangle. Crangle, who plans to retire Dec. 31, has also served as acting clerk since Kathy Hochul won a special election for the 26th Congressional District. He is also Tonawanda Democratic chairman.

Jacobs has named Lee Wortham, a former executive vice president of The Bank of New York, to head the search committee. The group will also include John Leonardi, CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors; Trey Barrett, of the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association; Melanie Marotto, real estate attorney with Colucci and Gallaher; and Kevin Horrigan, director of public affairs at People Inc.

The committee will accept resumes until Dec. 23 via e-mail at A full job description is available online at

Jacobs, in a news release announcing the formation of the committee, said he campaigned on a promise to "de-politicize the hiring process."

“The individuals I asked to volunteer on this committee are all highly professional and represent industries that deal with the Clerk’s Office on a regular basis, and I’m confident they will recommend well qualified candidates," Jacobs said.

--Denise Jewell Gee

Jacobs to assume clerk office next week

Republican Christopher L. Jacobs will be a few weeks ahead of other newly elected office holders when he officially assumes the title of Erie County clerk some time next week.

Jacobs, who defeated Democrat Maria R. Whyte on Election Day, now fills a clerk vacancy created by the May resignation of Kathleen C. Hochul, who won a special congressional election. And because the election fills a vacancy, election law allows him to assume the office once the Nov. 8 vote is officially certified, according to Democratic Elections Commissioner Dennis E. Ward.

"I'm planning to take the office when the vote is certified," Jacobs said, "considering how long the office has been vacant."

Ward said he expects the certification process to be completed some time next week. And as soon as Jacobs signs an "oath card" promising to uphold the Constitution, Ward said Jacobs is authorized to take over the office, begin his duties and draw a paycheck.

--Robert J. McCarthy

Jacobs ad about not-for-profit draws criticism

Republican Chris Jacobs' television ad touting the work of a nonprofit he founded has caused a stir in the Erie County clerk's race. Here's the ad:

I wrote about this ad and donations to Democrat Maria Whyte's campaign in this story published today.

--Aaron Besecker


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.

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.

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 |

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 |