New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo became the latest in a list of politicians from out of the area to endorse incumbent Mayor Paul Dyster in this week’s primary.
Dyster’s opponent, Glenn Choolokian, received no endorsements from out of towners.
“Mayor Dyster has been a leader in transforming the downtown core, reconnecting the city with its waterfront and bringing new jobs to Niagara Falls,” Cuomo said in a prepared statement. “I am proud to call Paul Dyster my friend and offer my endorsement of his candidacy for another term as mayor of Niagara Falls.”
The last time Cuomo endorsed anyone running for election was two years ago, when he backed an effort to target former city councilman Sam Fruscione for dawdling on approving the Hamister hotel deal, which needed to be urgently passed so that do nothing Buffalo “developer” Mark Hamister could begin construction right away.
Cuomo backed Kristin Grandinetti, Charles Walker and Andrew Touma in the race, and Fruscione lost in the primary. Grandinetti, Walker and Touma were enthusiastic supporters of the Hamister deal.
“Mayor Dyster has fought tirelessly for the people of Niagara Falls during his career in public service. He has been a true partner with my administration in moving Niagara Falls forward,” Cuomo said in his endorsement. “Together we have shown real progress in transforming the economy of Niagara Falls and Western New York.”
Cuomo didn’t say exactly what part of the economy he and Dyster had transformed, but the city is teetering on the edge of insolvency and has begged the state’s Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments to step in and help.
Dyster said he was thrilled to pieces over Cuomo’s endorsement.
“To have the endorsement of our great governor truly is an honor,” Dyster said. “Governor Cuomo has had a laser-like focus on the economy of Niagara Falls. I thank him for his confidence in me and look forward to working with him for four more years.”
Like Cuomo, Dyster didn’t specify exactly what progress had been made but seemed content that the governor’s laser-like focus was on the job.
Cuomo joined U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in endorsing Dyster. When she last visited the city is uncertain.
"I am proud to endorse Mayor Paul Dyster for re-election. Paul is ushering in real progress to the City of Niagara Falls through steady leadership and coalition building,” Gillibrand said. “Mayor Dyster exemplifies strong democratic values, progressive ideals, and is the right choice for Niagara Falls."
While Dyster didn’t endow Gillibrand with a laser-like focus or any other superhuman powers, he did say he was honored by the endorsement.
“I am honored to be endorsed for re-election by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand,” Dyster said. “Senator, thank you for your continued leadership & support.”
Another out of town politician who endorsed Dyster was U.S. Rep Brian Higgins, of Buffalo and Washington D.C.
“Mayor Dyster continues to be the right choice for Niagara Falls and is truly improving the city’s quality of life,” Higgins said. “Paul is an advocate for better access to the city’s waterfront, increased economic activity and living wage job creation. He has the right vision for Niagara Falls’ future, as the city continues its resurgence.”
Few would argue that the quality of life in Niagara Falls has certainly changed since Dyster was first elected to the city Council 15 years ago, but Higgins might get an argument over his choice of the word “improved.”
Still, Dyster was grateful.
“I am proud to be endorsed for re-election by Congressman Brian Higgins, a true leader & democratic standard bearer,” he said.
Dyster also has the strong support of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, which has opposed any improvements to the Niagara Falls International Airport, Buffalo law firms such as Hodgson Russ LLP, Buffalo engineering firms such as Clark Patterson Lee and other out of town companies that profit greatly from doing business at the Niagara Falls City Hall.