Political news

The recent election results in Erie County exposed a series of setbacks for local Democrats.  Instead of making the party more unified, long-standing fractures appear to be widening.

Photo provided by - Republican Caucus Erie County | Legislative Branch

Erie County Legislature Republicans are asking taxpayers to suggest where to cut discretionary spending to prevent a property tax increase. 

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

You may think Election 2012 is over, but not at the Erie County Board of Elections.  Not only is the vote count released on Election Day unofficial, it doesn't include thousands of absentee ballots.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The day after businessman Chris Collins won a seat in Congress, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said he is going to reach out to all of the region's representatives in Albany and Washington.

WBFO News by photo Mike Desmond

Chris Collins is moving onto the status of congressman-elect.

File photo

Barry Snyder Sr. has been elected president of the Seneca Nation of Indians for a fifth time, returning to a post he last held from 2008 to 2010.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

It was also a good Election Day for Western New York's incumbents in the State Legislature.  Only one newcomer will be joining the  delegation in Albany.

WBFO News photo by Mark Scott

Congressman Brian Higgins easily won his re-election bid Tuesday over challenger Mike Madigan. 

Collins wins; Hochul concedes in statement

Nov 7, 2012
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Republican Chris Collins declared victory in a very close race against democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul in the 27th Congressional District.  The Associated Press declared Collins the winner after midnight -- with 51-percent of the vote to Hochul's 49-percent.   But as WBFO'S Eileen Buckley reports, Hochul didn't concede until a couple of hours later.

Mychajliw elected Erie County Comptroller

Nov 7, 2012
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Former TV reporter and public relations guru Stefan Mychajliw was elected Erie County Comptroller Tuesday.

Grisanti wins re-election in 60th Senate District

Nov 6, 2012
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Republican incumbent Mark Grisanti won re-election Tuesday night over his three challengers, doing his part to help maintain the GOP's slim majority in the New York State Senate. 

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has won election to her first full term representing New York, fending off a challenge from Republican Wendy Long. 

WBFO News photo by Chirs Caya

Voter turnout was fairly strong Tuesday morning at several polling locations across the area. 

Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Koteras Elibol l WNED Art Director l Photographer

The candidates in the feisty race in the 27th Congressional District cast their ballots at their respective polling places Tuesday morning.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The long-awaited Election Day 2012 has arrived.   Polling places across New York State opened at 6 a.m. and will remain open through 9 p.m. Tuesday evening.  

WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

Although a recent Siena poll shows that republican incumbent Mark Grisanti has a 2-to-1 lead over his democratic opponent in the 60th state Senate race, a debate was held at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Kenmore Wednesday.  

But WBFO'S Eileen Buckley reports asked if Swanick is considered a spoiler in this three-way race.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The candidates vying for the 60th State Senate seat debated issues Wednesday at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Kenmore. 

It was a three-way debate between Republican incumbent Mark Grisanti, Democrat Mike Amodeo and Conservative Chuck Swanick. 

You can click the play button above to hear the entire debate. 

Students questions ranged from same-sex marriage, funding for public schools, the future of the Buffalo Bills' stadium, and proposed pay raises for state lawmakers. 

Candidates also used the debate to take jabs at one another. 

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

With Election Day getting closer, the Erie County Board of Elections is dealing with an avalanche of absentee ballot applications and the problems of getting absentee ballots to the military overseas because of problems in Albany.

County Republican Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr tells WBFO News there may be as many as 26,000 absentee ballots going out by the end of the elections season. 

WBFO News photo by Eileen Koteras Elibol l WNED Art Director l Photographer

The candidates in the 27th Congressional District, Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) and former Erie County Executive Chris Collins (R), met for their first debate Tuesday evening at the WNED studios in downtown Buffalo.

Hochul and Collins sparred in a 50-minute debate moderated by WBFO News Director Jim Ranney. The candidates took questions from three area journalists: Bob McCarthy of The Buffalo News, Claudine Ewing of WGRZ-TV and Julie Phillip of WXXI in Rochester, as well as e-mailers.   

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Who was the winner in last night's 27th Congressional District debate? 

Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul faced off against her republican opponent Chris Collins in a debate hosted by WNED-TV and WGRZ-TV. 

WBFO'S Eileen Buckley conducted post-debate analysis with former Republican deputy county executive Carl Calabrese and  former Democratic Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello at the WGRZ studio.  

A veteran of many panels at area political debates, Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy believes Tuesday night's debate between Kathy Hochul and Chris Collins was one of the best he has witnessed.

McCarthy was among the panelists at the studios of WNED-TV who posed questions to the candidates in the race for the 27th Congressional district.

As McCarthy sees it, both candidates were very clear in their positions and avoided many of the platitudes that bring little value to political discussions.

Hochul takes fundraising lead

Oct 17, 2012
WBFO News file photo

While the polls show a deadlocked race in the 27th Congressional district, campaign finance reports show Democrat Kathy Hochul surging ahead in the always important money race.

The Buffalo News reports Hochul raised $717,000 in the months of July, August and September, compared to the $321,000 raised by Collins, though the Republican added another $400,000 from his own personal fortune.

The records do not reflect any funds gathered during the October visit from House Speaker John Boehner on behalf of the Collins' campaign.

Congressional debate airs tonight on WBFO and WNED

Oct 16, 2012
WBFO News file photo

A recent poll shows a dead heat in the race for the newly-redrawn 27th Congressional District, which links the suburbs and rural areas between Buffalo and Rochester.

The two candidates will face off tonight in a debate in the WNED studios with a live broadcast on WNED-TV and 88.7 WBFO-FM at 7  p.m.

Incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul won the seat in a special election last year in a district that is heavily Republican. Her GOP challenger is former Erie County Executive Chris Collins.

WBFO News file photo

A recent poll for the 60th State Senate District race has incumbent Republican Mark Grisanti with a sizable lead over his two opponents.  

Grisanti faces opponents Michael Amodeo, a Democrat,  and Chuck Swanick, a Conservative.

WBFO's Chris Jamele and Artvoice editor Geoff Kelly take a close look at this race as well as the Congressional campaign between Kathy Hochul and Chris Collins in this week's Press Pass discussion. 

WBFO News photo from PBS video of debate

For Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy, the debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan was a victory for the Republican -- a potentially valuable component in a close race.

Langworthy says the Ryan had a chance to show he knew the issues and could stand up against a veteran like Biden, including the troubled economy, which is a key issue in the race.

"Paul Ryan acquitted himself very well in this debate. He showed he's a man of substance and facts and those substance and facts carried the night," Langworthy told WBFO News.

Poll shows Grisanti ahead of challengers

Oct 9, 2012

Despite high-profile attacks on his support of same-sex marriage, Republican State Senator Mark Grisanti appears to be cruising to re-election.

A new Siena poll shows Grisanti leading with 47 percent, compared to 23 percent for Democrat Michael Amodeo and 17 percent for Conservative Party candidate Charles Swanick.

Amodeo defeated Swanick in the Democratic Primary, but the former Erie County Legislator continues to stay in the race.

Working Families Party candidate Gregory Davis drew six percent in the poll.


A State Supreme Court Justice is ordering the Erie County Board of Elections to certify State Senator Tim Kennedy as the winner of his primary against Betty Jean Grant. 

Lawyers for both candidates were in court Friday. 

Grant, chair of the Erie County Legislature, has challenged the results showing Kennedy with a slight lead, arguing some voters went to the wrong polling place. 

Kennedy released a statement saying the Supreme Court review is complete and that he is the winner. 

Photo/logo from University of Denver

Mainstream media and even some liberal commentators say Republican Mitt Romney was the clear winner in Wednesdsay night's Presidential debate against President Barack Obama. 

WBFO & AM-970's Eileen Buckley spoke with Republican political lobbyist Carl Calabrese, who says Romney won "hands down."


New Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner isn't wasting any time getting comfortable with his new title.

On his second day on the job, Zellner is heading to Albany today for the state's Democratic Committee meeting. But he has no plans to meet with Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been pushing for a new leader in the county.  

"It's important that our county is represented at our meeting," Zellner said. "It was a last-minute decision. I really haven't set up any meetings."

Omar Fetouh/WBFO News

State Senator Tim Kennedy is declaring victory in his primary day contest against Erie County Legislature chairwoman Betty Jean Grant.  

The Erie County Board of Elections has spent the week counting absentee and affidavit ballots after a machine count showed Kennedy with a lead of less than 100 votes. 

Speaking in front of Board of Elections headquarters on West Eagle St. late Friday afternoon, the incumbent democrat says after the week-long ballot count, his lead is now "insurmountable."