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AUGUST 25 - SEP 01, 2015

Why is DelMonte Upset by Latest News About Ceretto?

By Daria Jurek

August 25, 2015

'Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. Likewise Democrats celebrate the return of John Ceretto. Conspicuous by her absence was Francine DelMonte at the Welcome Back Ceretto gathering.
‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
“But when this son of yours who has squandered your property comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ Likewise Francine DelMonte did not party when John Ceretto came home to his Democratic base.


It’s not exactly news that State Assemblyman John Ceretto recently switched parties.

The Republican Assemblyman recently announced that he will now caucus with the Democrats and will run as one next year.  But you always wonder why these things actually happen and what affect they may have.

Ceretto has stated that by joining the majority party he will have a greater voice in Albany, and the opportunity to obtain more funding for the district. No doubt he probably will be given a larger staff allowance and a much a nicer office too.

But given the Republican reaction to his defection there appears to be more to the story. When reached for comment Erie County Republican Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy said. "Ceretto's true colors have always been questioned” and even went far enough to say “goodbye and good riddance.” Former Niagara County Chairman Henry F. Wojtaszek added that “The Democrats just bought a lemon” as Ceretto joined their party.

So there seems to have been no love lost between John and the GOP leadership and their feelings toward Ceretto seem to have been brewing before he announced his decision to become a Democrat. It was long rumored that he was on the wrong side of “George Maziarz and Company” and for many years that was a death knell for any Republican office holder on any lesser level. In fact, that may have been the biggest reason of all for his defection.

More surprising has been the reaction of some Democrats to this development. Former Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte seems to be even more upset about Ceretto’s move than the Republican Party is. DelMonte was serving in the Assembly as a Democrat when she was defeated by Ceretto in 2010. After a long hiatus from public service she has decided to enter the race for a seat on the Town of Lewiston town board.

 Some were surprised by her decision to seek an office that many considered to be something of a step back from her prior office. Others speculated that that she was only going to use the visibility of the councilwoman’s office as a stepping stone to prepare for a run for her old Assembly Seat. But DelMonte backers have said that her only purpose to re-enter public service was simply to once again be able to give something back to her community.

But judging by her reported reaction to the news that Ceretto had switched parties, there may have been something to that stepping stone theory. Informed sources say that DelMonte became almost enraged when she found out the news that Ceretto would be running as a Democrat next year.  She reportedly took the Democratic Party leaders to task and demanded to know why she hadn’t been informed or consulted about this important move.  Many of those party higher-ups that she considered to have been long term allies won’t have to worry about sending her a Christmas card this year. She was so angry she basically told several of them that she has written them off and wants nothing further to do with them.

If she was going to make an Assembly run next year against a Republican, DelMonte would have been able to seek funding and support from the Democratic Party she so faithfully served.  If she makes that choice now, she will face someone who will for all purposes be a Democratic incumbent that will probably have the full support of not only the party but the Governor of New York himself. 

Only Francine DelMonte actually knows why she decided to run for Lewiston town board.  But it if were only for her stated reasons, which were to serve the residents of Lewiston, wouldn’t you think she would welcome Ceretto back to the Democratic Party with open arms?  After all, what political party doesn’t want to hold the Assembly seat in their district?  So if Francine wasn’t planning a run against Ceretto I wonder what the heck could have been that made her so upset at this latest news?

Reporter editor Frank Parlato called DelMonte on her cell phone and left a voice message briefly explaining the import of this story and asking her to call back if she cared to comment. DelMonte later texted Parlato's cell phone with this comment:

"Not available but thank you for your call. Please don't speculate. I'm focused right now on my election to the Lewiston Town Council."






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