Democratic Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown remains a good friend of the Erie County Conservative Party.
So does Republican Sheriff Timothy B. Howard and Republican County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw.
All three won endorsements from the often-influential minor party Thursday evening – support that could prove influential if elections are close in November.
The nod for Brown solidifies his long association with the party and apparently recognizes his stand on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s gun-control legislation known as the SAFE Act.
Brown insisted earlier this year he supported the new legislation but would offer no opinion on core provisions such as mandating smaller magazines or banning assault-style weapons. That was enough for Erie County Conservative Chairman Ralph C. Lorigo.
“He did not support the governor on the gun issue,” Lorigo said. “He was not with the other Big Five mayors touting the SAFE Act.”
Lorigo lauded Brown’s opponents – Democrat Bernard Tolbert and Republican Sergio R. Rodriguez – but noted the mayor’s record in fostering significant new development in the city and his success in holding down the tax rate and weaning the city off its financial control board.
He said neither mayoral challenger had logged enough experience to merit the party’s support.
Howard and Mychajliw, meanwhile, gain an advantage as they head toward re-election campaigns this fall. Democrats will challenge Mychajliw with Lynn Szalkowski; Howard will face Bert Dunn or Richard Dobson following a Democratic primary in September.
The Conservative Party may also play a role in determining the future course of the Erie County Legislature after endorsing anti-headquarters Democrat Richard A. Zydel in District 7 for the seat now held by Democrat Thomas J. Mazur of Cheektowaga, who Lorigo said did not apply for the Conservative endorsement.
In District 8, the party is backing Republican Ted Morton for a seat being vacated by Democrat Terrence D. McCracken of Lancaster in a contest that GOP leaders hope could help swing the Legislature back to them.
Other legislative choices include the following incumbents: Republican Kevin R. Hardwick of the City of Tonawanda in District 4, Democrat Thomas A. Loughran of Amherst in District 5, Republican Edward A. Rath III of Amherst in District 6, Independence Party member Lynne M. Dixon of Hamburg in District 9, Conservative Joseph C. Lorigo of West Seneca in District 10 and Republican John J. Mills of Orchard Park in District 11.
The chairman noted that Democratic Legislator Lynn M. Marinelli of the Town of Tonawanda, a longtime Conservative candidate, did not apply this year in District 3.
The party backed Democrat Mary Carney and Republican Deanne Tripi for Family Court, and Democrats Debra L. Givens and Kevin J. Keane for Buffalo City Court.