New Democratic chairman heads to Albany to rub elbows

Oct 1, 2012

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."

Zellner, who is also chief of staff for the Democrats in the Erie County Legislature, says Cuomo is an "amazing governor" and he looks forward to working with him.   

"I've already been speaking with folks about how we can strengthen our party and build our party apparatus at Democratic headquarters by raising funds and bring people together," Zellner said.

A 34-year-old Tonawanda resident, Zellner replaces Len Lenihan, who served 10 years as the chair of the county's Democratic committee.  He will remain chief of staff in the Legislature on a full-time basis.

Meanwhile, attorney Peter Reese, acting on behalf of chairman candidate Frank Max, said he plans to challenge Zellner's election in court. Reese claims improper redistricting in the Town of Amherst gave Zellner an unfair advantage.