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Lots of leftovers from a most fascinating election:

* On the day that Assemblywoman Jane Corwin announced her congressional candidacy last February, a local Republican also interested in running offered this observation: "I guess you have to be a millionaire to run for office in this party."

Indeed, "self-financing" has proven a key word in local GOP circles ever since Chris Collins re-entered the political scene in 2007. No muss, no fuss -- right?

But Corwin and now Collins have lost elections this year they were supposed to win. And while Chris Jacobs appears to be the new county clerk with a largely self-financed campaign, the GOP may be reconsidering whether successful businessmen make good politicians.

"We were hell-bent on these business people," one insider said last week. "I think we'll take a step back from that."

* Note to readers: Let's revisit that thought in 2015 when County Clerk Jacobs eyes a self-financed campaign for county executive.

* For those keeping score at home, make Collins the only first-term county executive in local history to lose his bid for re-election.

* Democrat Maria Whyte may now recognize the difficulty of launching a countywide campaign as a city-based Democratic officeholder. Many have tried -- including big Democratic names like Frank Sedita Sr., Mike Dillon and Jim Griffin. But only Jane Starosciak has scored such a non-judicial or non-sheriff victory way back in 1974.

* And speaking of the clerk race, Whyte's allies are registering more than plain, old disappointment over Gov. Andrew Cuomo's failure to appoint her to the vacant clerk's position last summer -- expected as part of the unsuccessful peace deal brokered by Charlie King, executive director of the state Democratic Party.

That appointment never materialized, and many local Dems maintain that the advantages of incumbency would have won her the close election. In fact, they are livid.

* By the way, Whyte agreed not to challenge Assemblyman Mark Schroeder for Buffalo comptroller last summer as part of that agreement. Schroeder then ran unopposed and, in case you missed it, was elected Buffalo comptroller on Tuesday.

* Bernie Tolbert, the former FBI official and director of security for the NBA, was spotted at Poloncarz headquarters on Election Night. And that's a good place to be seen if you're thinking about running for mayor in 2013.

* Come to think of it, city comptroller is also not a bad spot to launch a campaign for mayor.

* Does anyone recall that Erie County Democratic Chairman Len Lenihan seriously pushed for Mark Poloncarz as the county executive candidate in 2007? Only to be overruled by Mayor Byron Brown, Rep. Brian Higgins and Conservative Party powers that be? Just asking.

* Sen. Mike Gianaris of Queens wasted no time in preparing for the 2012 election by hosting a major fundraiser at the Mansion on Delaware Avenue Wednesday night -- expected to snare about $50,000 for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee that he heads. Gianaris has made it his mission to unseat Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti of Buffalo next November, and noted that Poloncarz gained 75 percent of the Tuesday vote in the Grisanti district.

"I expect Democrats to vote for a Democrat," he said last week. "We feel very good about it."

* Cattaraugus County Judge Larry Himelein made a healthy-looking return Tuesday to the 64th Annual Election Day Luncheon at Moonwink's Restaurant in Cuba Lake after some recent serious health problems. Democrats and Republicans down there continue to observe the strange custom of coming together on Election Day to put the campaign behind them and shake hands.

email: rmccarthy@buffnews.com