Well placed sources in the Democratic Party said that top officials in the state, city and county are troubled by recent polling showing that Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster is unlikely to win reelection.
They are seeking a "late entry" candidate.
In a scramble to find a candidate several Democrats approached Niagara County Legislator and city firefighter Jason Zona and asked him to run.
Polls, they said, suggest he could beat Dyster and win the general election against the winner of the Republican primary - either John Accardo or James Szwedo - something that party officials who spoke to the Reporter said Dyster is unlikely to be able to do.
Top Democrats at the state level have no desire to see Glenn Choolokian, a political maverick not beholden to Democrats, elected.
The thought of a Republican winning in this heavily democratic, gravy train rich town, with $18 million in casino cash to disburse each year, is seen as worse than a win by Choolokian.
Zona, a popular figure among voters, is seen as a moderate Democrat.
In a deal Democrats are hoping to broker sources told us that, if Zona jumps into the mayor's race, county Democrats would field Jason Caferella, Zona's predecessor on the legislature to run for Zona's seat.
Sources say the ad-hoc committee trying to lure Zona said they would try to persuade Dyster to take a position with a certain state funded agency that has been made available for Dyster to step aside and avoid embarrassing himself or the party.
When contacted by the Reporter, Zona admitted he was approached by Democrats who urged him to run but declined to comment on whether he will enter the race if Dyster remains in the race.
When Zona was asked if Dyster were to drop out, would he run, Zona again declined comment.