Politics is certainly making headlines these days, both nationally in the matter of the presidential election in 2016 and locally this year as Republicans seek toreclaim the 16th floor of the Rath Building that Chris Collins lost four years ago to Mark Poloncarz
On the big stage, there is a strong local connection as Democratic strategist and Clinton associate Steve Pigeon is gearing up to do his part to help Hillary Clintonwin the nomination and ultimately the presidency in the 2016 election.
In case you haven't heard, Hillary is running for president and she will be in Iowa today (Tuesday, April 14) to begin a campaign that Pigeon told a WBEN radioaudience on Sunday will be focused on wage stagnation and the dying middle class.
"You really need to go door-to-door in Iowa, and that's what she will be doing," said Pigeon who worked for President Bill Clinton's election in 1992 and 1996 andserved as a top aide under Clinton Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala.
Pigeon said the early focus of Hillary Clinton's campaign will be on personal politics, meeting people in small groups and not in amphitheaters, and addressing theneeds of middle class families.
"That's what we did here in Erie County when she ran for the Senate back in 2000," said the former county Democratic chairman who recalled taking the former First Ladyto Alton's Restaurant in Cheektowaga to meet and talk to people about their concerns.
Pigeon helped team up Bill Clinton and billionaire Paychex founder Tom Golisano in the Clinton Global Initiative, a worldwide humanitarian foundation, and he will beactive in Hillary's campaign as it moves forward, particularly in the area of fundraising
While Pigeon is getting to ready to take flight on Hillary's behalf, Erie County Republicans are focusing on their strategy to take on Democratic County Executive MarkPoloncarz this November behind Amherst Assemblyman Raymond Walter who as of this writing is still not the endorsed candidate although that announcement could come thisweek.
It will definitely be an uphill race for Walter who lacks the name recognition and resources that had made Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs the party's first choicebefore he bowed out last week to concentrate on his work in the clerk's office. It would also have been Jacobs third countywide run in four years, a lot to ask of anycandidate, even one as popular as Jacobs.
While Republican County Chairman Nick Langworthy clears the field for his friend Ray Walter, the all important Conservative endorsement remains uncertain.
"It is important to hold the line on taxes and bring jobs to Erie County," said Conservative Chairman Ralph Lorigo in discussing his party's decision-making processbefore endorsing a candidate.
Lorigo said Conservatives will interview candidates seeking the party's endorsement and would probably reach a decision by the middle of May. The Conservative linehas proven to be extremely important in countywide races, with 25,000 votes in play.