Activist Kevin Gaughan joins political race

Jun 6, 2012

There is now a Democratic primary for the 144th State Assembly District seat held by Sean Ryan as activist Kevin Gaughan on Tuesday began circulating petitions for a race.

Gaughan and aides were on Lexington Avenue in Buffalo and on Coachman's Lane in Hamburg looking for some of the 500 signatures he needs to be on the ballot.

This was the district formerly held by Sam Hoyt. It has since been changed significantly to include Lackawanna and Hamburg after the 2010 Census.

Gaughan grew up in Hamburg and now lives in Buffalo, while Ryan grew up in Lackawanna and now lives in Buffalo.

The new challenger says he wants to shrink Albany as he has tried to shrink local government in the past, pointing out the State Senate solution to re-apportionment was to add a seat.

Gaughan says one of the three planks in his platform is improving Buffalo schools.

"If we're ever going to reverse the chronic decline of the city, we have to finally craft a solution to public education," Gaughan said. "What I would like to do is something that I don't think anyone has ever done,  which is to sit down and think through and devise the proper role for the State of New York in public education in urban centers like Buffalo. I'd like to be part of that solution and I think it's immensely important."

Gaughan says his other primary concerns are downsizing Albany and controlling the state's mesh of agencies and authorities like the NFTA.