The Republican and Democratic candidates have been chosen for the 145th Assembly district special election in March and they're both registered Democrats. A Buffalo city councilman is running on the Republican line.
BUFFALO, NY - This week the Erie County Democratic Party endorsed relative unknown Chris Fahey over long-time Buffalo City councilmember Mickey Kearns for the 145th district assembly seat. The seat was vacated in January by now Buffalo City Comptroller, Mark Schroeder.
Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Len Lenihan said, "Mickey was kind of conflicted. He was talking about the Republican Party and the Democratic Party and we really feel in this business you've got to come down on one side or the other."
Lenihan said the party feels Fahey, who is an aide for Congressman Brian Higgins, is stronger on the issues that matter to Dems.
Lenihan said, "(Fahey) is uniquely talented and qualified to serve in this post."
This week, Kearns said he was approached by the Republican Party to represent the GOP on the ballot. Kearns accepted, but said he remains a democrat and always will.
Kearns said, "I'm very independent and I think when you're looking to send someone to Albany, you want to send someone who's going to be responsible to people, not the political insiders."
Erie County Republican Party Chair Nick Langworthy said the party chose Kearns because he gave voters a choice in a district Republicans have had little success in.
Langworthy said, "Mickey is really a fiscal conservative and a social conservative and there were a lot more things we agreed on than disagreed."
Fahey said there will be a clear contrast between the two candidates.
He said, "I've knocked on a lot of doors so far and I think the electorate will respond well to a candidate who is young and energetic and has new ideas."
Kearns said he has the advantage because voters in the district are familiar with him.
He said, "My opponent has a lot of catching up to do. He is an unknown commodity. He's never held elective office. He is the political insider in this race."
But Lenihan said with Kearns representing Republicans, familiarity won't cut it.
Lenihan said, "Still won't be enough. That district is a heavily democratic district. That being said, we're not taking anything for granted."
The special election is set for March 20th.