Politics

Political news

Earlier this week, the state’s public campaign finance commission issued a plan to allow candidates for state offices to receive public matching grants for some campaign donations under $250. But advocates worry that the final report left out a key legal clause -- and that could jettison the entire program if any one part of it is successfully challenged in court.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

There are many candidates and no official Election Day set to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Chris Collins. A political newcomer threw her hat into the ring Monday in the closely-watched content.

Karen DeWitt

Mayors across New York state are the latest to express concerns about the bail reform and other criminal justice law changes that take effect in January. The mayors say they don't have the resources or money to properly carry out the new laws.


U.S. Treasury

Reform groups say they are dismayed with the direction of a commission appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to implement a public campaign finance system for state elected offices. The commission has just two more meetings before it issues its final report.

Bob McCarthy has been with The Buffalo News since 1982 and a political reporter for the paper since 1992. Election Day means little sleep for him, but he still found time to talk to WBFO's Howard Riedel about his Election Day 2019 takeaways.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Erie County Board of Elections officials are still analyzing the impact of early voting, but Republican Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr reports overall voter turnout Tuesday hit more than 35%. That is higher than the local elections four years ago.

Western New York election results by county

Nov 5, 2019

Election Day features several races of interest to residents who are casting their ballots on Nov. 5. Check here for election results starting at 9 p.m.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

It's just a matter of hours now before the votes will be tallied and candidates will know who will hold office. Many are coming out for the Erie County Executive race, pitting incumbent Mark Poloncarz against challenger Lynne Dixon, but there’s been several other factors which have impacted the polls this Election Day.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that will now require that death certificates in cases of opioid overdose specify which opioid was involved in the death, if known. This will make it easier to track the data and provide the most accurate information needed to better address the opioid crisis.

Reality Check: 16 women on Buffalo's Common Council since 1832

Nov 5, 2019
Mike Desmond / WBFO News

A record number of women ran for office in 2018, with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leading the way in 2016. The trend has continued for 2020, with a record six candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president. In Buffalo, however, the glass ceiling seems thicker and less penetrable than elsewhere.

On the eve of Election Day, Buffalo News politics reporter Bob McCarthy says voters are seeing "really nasty ads" from both sides in the race for Erie County Executive between incumbent Mark Poloncarz and Lynne Dixon. McCarthy also weighs in on the bigger picture in the City of Buffalo and how a lack of competitive races could affect turnout. And which are the county legislature races to watch on Tuesday?


Erie County

Every two years, control of the Erie County Legislature is on the election ballot, seat by seat. However, two former county executives say it may not matter.

Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

A lot of Erie County voters took advantage of the new early voting system to cast their ballots before Tuesday's Election Day.

Chris Caya / WBFO News

For the first time in nearly a dozen years, Paul Dyster is not running for Mayor of Niagara Falls. After three terms in office, Dyster decided against seeking re-election. WBFO's Chris Caya profiles the candidates vying to become the city's new mayor.


WBFO file photo

State Sen. Robert Ortt has introduced an updated Voter ID bill which he says will help secure elections in New York State. He tells WBFO this latest bill also addresses concerns about the "disenfranchisement" of poorer citizens.

Republicans are the dominant party in Genesee County. According to Howard Owens of The Batavian, Democrats have been dispatched to a distant second and that spot is finding a challenge from the Libertarian Party, which has three candidates on this year's ballot.


Jay Moran/WBFO

Fresh from graduating from Cornell University this year, Austin Morgan earned the Democratic Party nod in the race for the vacant seat in the 57th Senate District. The native of the Cattaraugus County town of Freedom says he got into the race to help "those little towns that have been voiceless for too long."


Jay Moran/WBFO

Though Democrats control state government in Albany, Republican George Borrello says he's prepared to make a difference if he wins Tuesday's election in the State Senate's 57th district. He promises to build good relationships with other legislators from both parties, "but not lie down" while fighting for the district's interests. Borrello points to his current work as Chautauqua County Executive as a blueprint for how to work with others while achieving results for constituents. He explained his thinking during a recent sit down with WBFO in Irving, New York.

Election Perspectives: Allegany County

Oct 31, 2019

WBFO is getting ready for Election Day 2019 by asking around Western New York, "what's on the minds of voters in your part of the region?" Today, we go to Allegany County, where Wellsville Daily Regional Editor Chris Potter tells us that beyond the race for the State Senate's empty 57th District seat, it's a more quiet election cycle. But that doesn't mean there's a lack of issues.


The chair of the State’s Democratic Party, Jay Jacobs, found himself on the defensive after a leaked email revealed a proposal that could weaken minor parties backed by progressive Democrats, and strengthen the state’s Conservative Party.


Election Day is in six days and all this week WBFO News is looking at what's at stake as residents take part in early voting, or wait and go the traditional route next Tuesday. Today we hear from Tom Rivers, the editor of the news site Orleans Hub, for a perspective on the issues in Orleans County. 


Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Third parties used a public hearing in Buffalo Tuesday to voice concerns New York state’s commission to get big money out of politics is actually meant to get them out of the election system.

 

Karen DeWitt

Two majority-party state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would give customers in cafes, fast-food shops and even some restaurants the option to use their own container for coffee or water, or to bring home leftovers.


Election Perspectives: Cattaraugus County

Oct 29, 2019

With Election Day 2019 advancing, WBFO set out to ask people monitoring local races of note throughout Western New York to offer their observations. WBFO contacted Rick Miller, reporter for the Olean Times Herald, to learn more about races and thoughts of the voters in Cattaraugus County.

Associated Press

When the House of Representatives votes Thursday on beginning a formal impeachment investigation, Western New York will have two votes on the floor: Corning Republican Tom Reed and Buffalo Democrat Brian Higgins. Former Clarence Republican Chris Collins resigned his congressional seat after a felony conviction and is not eligible to vote.

Western New York Independent Living

Voters with disabilities can get free rides to their polling place on Election Day.

WBFO file photo

It seems increasingly likely that a special election for the western New York congressional seat vacated by the disgraced Chris Collins will be held the same day as New York’s presidential primary in April -- and that has Republicans in the state crying foul.


When Corey Lewandowski visited Western New York last week, the former campaign manager for Donald Trump carried a message of confidence the President would be reelected. Lewandowski told Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy that the current impeachment inquiry will energize the Trump base in 2020. McCarthy says Lewandowski, despite losing his job during the 2016 campaign, remains a close Trump confidante.

A commission formed to create a public campaign financing system for New York elections reversed course this week, during a vote on how to structure a matching donor system.

As Election Day nears, this week WBFO looks at what’s at stake when Western New York goes to the polls. This morning, Batavia News Associate Editor Matt Surtel has an interesting story coming out of the Town of Gainesville in Wyoming County.

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