Niagara Falls Awash With Political Activity

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By: Tony Farina


The Niagara Falls City Committee’s big soiree will be over by the time you read this (Tuesday, July 23), but expectations were high among the party faithful for a big turnout at the Hyde Park Stoneroom.

“Expecting a lot of excitement about our candidates this year for the council,” said Vice Chairman Michael Gawel.

As we have previously reported, Chairman Bill Carroll has high hopes for the GOP’s chances to win control of the City Council with incumbent Kenny Tompkins and political newcomer John Spanbauer.  If they win, they would join Chris Voccio on the council and give Republicans a 3 to 2 majority.

Still not certain about the GOP’s candidate for mayor but Glenn Choolokian, a former mayoral spoiler as a write-in helping Paul Dyster win re-election four years ago, is pitching for the nod but so far, it hasn’t happened.  Maybe by the time you read this, it will have happened, or maybe not.  

Niagara County Democrats attracted about 200 to their picnic last week at Gratwick Hose in North Tonawanda and Chairman Jason Zona is also bubbling with excitement, especially when it comes to legislative races where Republicans hold an 11 to 4 majority.  Democrats are hoping to score in November and Zona is very high on several of his party’s candidates, especially Erik Herbert in the 7th District.

Expect lots of political drama and wheeling and dealing over the weeks leading up to election day in November as the parties strive for power and make their pitch for public support.

One of the biggest questions still unresolved is whether Democratic primary loser Seth Piccirillo will support the winner, Robert Restaino, and not campaign on the Working Families line which could hurt Restaino in a possible four-way race.  Piccirillo says he needs more time to decide, but he needs to decide quickly for the party’s sake.


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