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JUNE 17 - JUNE 25, 2014

Ceretto May Have an Opponent
Niagara Falls Democrat Matt Cole has begun circulating petitions for candidacy

June 17, 2014

Just when it looked as if Assemblyman John Ceretto would not have an opponent , the democratic process kicked in, and candidate Matt Cole emerged to give voters a choice .

Matt Cole, a Niagara Falls resident, small business consultant and former personal assistant for actor Nicolas Cage, has been making the rounds to garner support for his candidacy for the New York State Assembly, 145th District, a seat now held by Republican John Ceretto.

Cole, a Democrat, met with Niagara County Democratic Chairman Nick Forster this week to discuss a run against Ceretto in a district that has 17 percent more Democrats than Republicans.

"I am pleased with his commitment to the community and to the race," said Forster of Cole. "He has our endorsement."

"I am very excited to have a candidate of the caliber of Matt Cole," Foster continued. "His commitment to the community, the area, the district and the State of New York is immense."

This week, Cole will meet with Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner, city of Niagara Falls Chairwoman Alicia Laible, Town of Lewiston Chairwoman Diane Roberts and other party officials, Forster told the Reporter.

Cole is a graduate of Starpoint Central School and is currently attending Harvard University online, where he is pursuing his Bachelor's degree.

In 2011, Cole ran in the Democratic primary for Niagara County Legislator, 3rd District (LaSalle), losing by less than 100 votes to John Briglio.

A Democrat who supports small government and conservative values, Cole was inspired to pursue politics, he said, as a local Precinct Leader for Ron Paul's 2008 Presidential Campaign.

Asked why he is challenging Ceretto for the 145th NYS Assembly seat, Cole said, "Anything of value around here, from our international border crossings, to our bridge and thruway tolls, to our state parks [Niagara Falls State Park alone generates over $25 million per year], to our massive hydro power generation, to the water that comes out of our faucets here in Niagara Falls, the state seizes and splits the money from our resources between Albany and NYC."

Asked what he thought of his opponent, Cole said, "I like John Ceretto. He is basically a good man, I believe. However, we have some differences in ideology which I hope voters will seriously consider. No one deserves a free pass and the people of this district deserve a choice. I intend to give them one."

Both Forster and Cole stopped short of making an official announcement, but sources told the Reporter that Cole's nominating petitions are being carried this week by party members. Cole needs 500 signatures to qualify.





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