May Have Helped Other Republican Candidates Locally

Donald J. Trump’s victory was historic on a number of levels, not the least of which was that Trump won Niagara County, New York in a landslide.

“Mr. Trump won here, and he won ‘bigly,” Niagara County GOP Chairman Scott Kiedrowski said after unofficial results from the Niagara County Board of Elections put Trump’s margin of victory over Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton at 57% to 38%, storming past Clinton by 16,335 votes in Tuesday’s unofficial tally.

The last time a Republican won the county was when Ronald Reagan beat former Vice President Walter Mondale, the Democratic nominee, in 1984.

Kiedrowski can bask somewhat in the glow of Trump’s historic upset victory since he led his executive committee to make Niagara County one of the first counties in the nation to endorse Trump during the GOP primaries last March.

“When we endorsed Mr. Trump on March 22, the outcome of the GOP primaries was far from clear, but our rank-and-file were showing me a clear preference for Trump and his message,” Kiedrowski said. “I believed that Trump’s message of renewal for our Rust Belt industries, his local ties to New York State, his vocal support for Second Amendment rights, and his acumen as a businessman who had actually built things—all of that combined to make him not only a candidate who could win our party’s nomination, but win the national election. Our decision to endorse was the right one.”

The Trump campaign took note of Niagara County’s gesture of faith in him, and Trump highlighted the endorsement on social media.

Donald Trump tweeted his gratitude to Niagara County GOP and promised to "see us soon."

Donald Trump tweeted his gratitude to Niagara County GOP and promised to “see us soon.”

Trump went on to win the New York State Republican primary decisively one month later.

Kiedrowski said, “Of course, the lion’s share of the credit for this massive, historic win goes to the candidate himself, and to the brilliance of campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. But I’m really pleased with the way our organization stepped up—right down to the party’s leadership in our towns and cities.”

“In Niagara County, the Republicans won everywhere—towns and cities—on Tuesday, and we won big,” Kiedrowski said. “Right candidate, right message, right teamwork.”

Boy did he pick one right. GOP Chairman Scott Kiedrowski led his team to go Trump early in the game.

Boy did he pick one right. GOP Chairman Scott Kiedrowski led his team to go Trump early in the game.

Republicans did carry the day in several of the very few contested elections in Niagara County.

Republican Katherine Alexander walloped Democrat Jeremy Schnurr to fill a vacancy for North Tonawanda City Attorney, a one year term. And Republican John J Mattio edged out a spirited challenger, Josh Ramos, who had the Democratic party line for Wheatfield Town Justice.

Mattio who has been ailing for some time, could barely campaign and has had to adjust his court schedule because of his serious health issues, leading to speculation that he may vacate the bench before his new term is up making way for Town Supervisor Robert Cliffe to return to the bench he occupied prior to Mattio who succeeded him.

Ramos, a rising star in the Western New York legal community, with an impressive string of jury trial successes especially for downtrodden and impoverished defendants, couldn’t get enough voters to plunk down votes on the Democrat line as the county came out in force for Trump.

Of course, perhaps the biggest win for Republicans was the race for the 145 New York State Assembly District which covers most of western Niagara County plus Grand Island.

Two term incumbent John D. Ceretto – who was a Republican, but switched last year to become a Democrat – was soundly defeated by a Republican, retired Niagara Falls City Court Judge Angelo J. Morinello.

How much Morinello was helped by Trump, how much by an email scandal surrounding Ceretto in the weeks leading up to the election and how much was attributable to the plain old, down-home style popularity of “the Judge”, Morinello, is hard to calculate.

Like as in now with the National Scene, Republicans firmly control Niagara County in most elected offices with a supermajority in the County Legislature despite a near even enrollment of Democrats and Republicans in Niagara County.

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