By Denise Jewell Gee
Erie County Legislature Chairwoman Betty Jean Grant lost her bid for a State Senate seat, but she's won over her colleagues in county government.
Grant, a Buffalo Democrat, got a bipartisan standing ovation in the Legislature on Thursday after Legislator Kevin Hardwick, a Republican from the City of Tonawanda, praised her leadership.
"As someone who has lost a couple close elections myself, I wanted to tell you how impressed I was with the campaign that you ran recently for State Senate," Hardwick said. "I know that came up short, but I also am not that sad. Surely, not as sad as you, because under your leadership here this past year, things have been going rather well."
Several legislators have noted this year that the atmosphere in the Legislative chambers has been less acrimonious under Grant's leadership than it has been in recent years.
Grant replaced former Chairwoman Barbara Miller-Williams, a Buffalo Democrat who had gained the Legislature leadership post after forming a coalition with Legislature Republicans.
"I just wanted to let you know that this Republican is proud to point to you as our chair," Hardwick told Grant.