HAMILTON: Air Force-1 Sergeant Elder Flying High with 2,600 Signatures

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Jeffrey Elder


By: Ken Hamilton

As previously written, USAF Sergeant Jeffrey Elder is one giant step closer to being on November’s ballot to run for the mayorship of the city of Niagara Falls, NY.

In fact, reports are that Elder turned in his petition package just before noon on Wednesday with more than five-times the 500-number of signatures necessary for him to be placed on the bottom line of the ballot for the General Elections in November, a ballot of which only mayoral candidate Seth Piccirillo can be denied IF he loses his Democratic primary to Democrat opponent Robert Restaino. But even if Restaino loses the Democratic primary race, he is still on two minor party lines and can pull votes from both a winning Piccirillo and an ersatz Republican opponent Glenn Choolokian.

You see, by the voting dynamics of Niagarans, “his momentous feat” of turning in so many signatures keeps Sgt. Elder’s election at the beginning of a very long runway with his engines fully spooled for take-off, but “his actual feet” are still firmly planted on the ground.

This, because Elder is a black candidate – following in recent history of the efforts of former Niagara County Legislator Renae Kimble, mailman and restaurateur Norton Douglas and now-Florida school teacher Carnell Burch, Elder is the 4th such serious black candidate for mayor.

Even though Niagara Falls’ black population is resoundingly Democratic, indications are that they are resoundingly resolved to voting for other black Democrats.  With nearly 25% of the population of the city being black, if most black voters go to the polls in November to select a new mayor, it could mean that more than half would either vote for the independent Democrat Elder instead of the major party candidates, giving Republican Choolokian a real push towards Room 125 at City Hall. A significant amount of others could easily stay home and not vote at all, furthering a pull away from either a victorious Piccirillo or Restaino.

Nonetheless, with the estimated nearly $4000 that Elder spent on petitioning, he would still need massive more amounts of funding to fuel the engines of his campaign to get it off the ground and flying.  As the only veteran running – as were the more recent successfully-run campaigns of mayors Michael O’Laughlin – USAF, James Gailie – USMC and Vince Anello – USMC, perhaps one day there could actually be up “into the wild, blue yonder” a “Sergeant-Mayor” Jeffrey Elder “flying high into the sky.”

Though doubtful, his campaign does show a future potential.


**attorney advertising**

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