LOCKPORT – Michael J. Norris resigned Wednesday as Niagara County Republican Party chairman, saying his new position as Town of Lockport attorney didn’t leave him enough time to do both jobs.
North Tonawanda Clerk-Treasurer Scott P. Kiedrowski, who had been first vice chairman of the Niagara GOP, took the reins of the party.
The announcements were made after the Town Board voted Norris in at its 1 p.m. work session. He succeeds his law partner, Daniel E. Seaman, in the attorney post, which pays $113,809 a year.
Norris said he was not legally required to resign the party chairmanship, which he had held since November 2009.
“This is a personal choice on my part,” he said. “The position of town attorney will require me to commit a significant amount of my time and energy to providing legal services to the Town of Lockport. There are only so many hours in one day.”
Kiedrowski made a similar choice, resigning from the chairmanship of the board of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, a position he took over last month.
“Although I’m not required to, I thought it was in the best interest of the IDA,” Kiedrowski said. “My top priority is serving the citizens of North Tonawanda. Heading the GOP is next, but that is second to my career.”
The clerk-treasurer post in North Tonawanda is an elected position.
“Many of us in public service and politics wear different hats,” Kiedrowski said.
Kiedrowski could serve as GOP chairman until the next Republican reorganizational meeting in September 2014, Norris said.
“Until I call a meeting of the executive committee and talk with everybody, I will assume the mantle of leadership,” Kiedrowski said.
Kiedrowski said he wants to talk to the executive committee members, including the city and town chairmen, before deciding whether to keep the party chairmanship long term.
Norris said he also is resigning his part-time job as a deputy corporation counsel for the City of Lockport, where he handled planning and zoning issues and tax foreclosures.
Norris and Kiedrowski are both former county GOP election commissioners.
Kiedrowski said he intends to continue the GOP’s dominance of local politics.
“In a county where Democrats outnumber Republicans, we have 12 of 15 county legislators and 11 of 12 town supervisors, because we attract candidates and volunteers who work diligently and effectively to reduce taxes and advocate for smaller government,” Kiedrowski said.