It might not be the race that’s getting the most attention this year, but voters in South Buffalo will have the opportunity to choose who will represent them on the Common Council.
Though the very important – and typically predictive – Democratic primary is over, two candidates remain on the ballot, incumbent Christopher P. Scanlon and Anthony “A.J.” Verel.
Scanlon won a majority of the primary vote – 54 percent – despite being in a four-way contest against Verel, Patrick B. Burke and Kevin M. Lafferty.
Verel, meanwhile, came in third with 11 percent of the vote, despite an extensive door-to-door campaign.
Party enrollment in the South District is overwhelmingly Democratic – 76 percent – while Republicans account for just 16 percent of voters, making Verel’s campaign that much more difficult.
Verel, 42, is a registered Democrat, a fact that he has repeated during his post-primary campaign, but he will appear on the Republican line next Tuesday after being granted the GOP endorsement, while Scanlon will appear on the Democratic and Conservative Party lines.
Verel, who is a human resources consultant, said he is concerned with vacant properties and bringing businesses to South Buffalo.
Scanlon, 31, was appointed to the South Council seat in May and lined up pre-primary endorsements from South Buffalo’s most prominent political figures, including Rep. Brian Higgins, City Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder and Assemblyman Michael P. Kearns. He also won early support from the Council leadership and was appointed chairman of the Finance Committee shortly after his appointment to the Council.
He previously worked as a bartender, assistant bar manager and car salesman. He said he is concerned with absentee landlords and bank-owned homes.
The winner of the election will fill a vacancy created when Kearns won a special Assembly election in March.
The district covers nearly all election districts south of the Buffalo River to the city line.