Democrats Place Want Ad For Sheriff's Candidate

9:24 AM, Feb 17, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Although the Democratic party hasn't quite resorted to putting up "wanted" posters around town looking for someone to run for Sheriff, it is asking for people interested in running for the office to send resumes to party headquarters.

The fact that new Democratic Chairman, Jeremy Zellner can't find a candidate is even more surprising because the incumbent - Republican Sheriff Tim Howard - is considered vulnerable.

Under Howard's watch, Bucky Phillips escaped from the jail in Alden and killed a state trooper, and there was also that rash of suicides at the Holding Center.

Something else that should be in the Democrats favor is that there are about 135,000 more Democrats and Republicans in Erie County.

Scott Brown: "Does it surprise you that they're resorting to something like this?"

Political Analyst Mike Haselswerdt: "Yeah for such a high profile race and a situation where the incumbent would seem to have some weaknesses, you would think they would have already identified people that would be interested in this, and that they wouldn't be running want ads."

Now we'd love to tell you what Zellner has to say about all this, but he didn't return repeated phone calls from 2 On Your Side on Friday. 

Zellner's chairmanship got off to a rough start last November when Democrats lost three big races: David Shenk was defeated for election as Erie County Comptroller, Mike Amodeo lost to Mark Grisanti for state senate, and Kathy Hochul lost her race for congress to Chris Collins.

The party is badly divided right now, with Zellner, a protege of former chairman Len Lenihan, not having many supporters at City Hall or in Cheektowaga or Tonawanda.

Another former Democratic Chairman, Steve Pigeon, says Zellner and his supporters are too insular.

Steve Pigeon: "They're more concerned about winning political party battles than they are about winning elections and I think it's showing. The fact that we're sitting here close to it being March and they have no candidates announced for county-wide offices shows that."

One prominent Democrat told Scott Brown that under Zellner, the party is having trouble raising money and that it's alarming that the party doesn't yet have a candidate yet for Sheriff or Comptroller.





























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