WHEATFIELD – An angry James P. Zetes dropped out of the race for town supervisor Monday after learning that the Niagara County Democratic Party planned to authorize Thomas J. Larson, a registered Republican, to run against him in the Democratic primary.
Zetes, who had been announced in June as the endorsed Democratic candidate, signed a paper at the county Board of Elections to cancel his nominating petitions. He said he now supports Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe, the GOP incumbent, who also faces a primary challenge from Larson.
“I felt as though they don’t want to support the endorsed Democratic candidate against a Republican,” Zetes said. “I’ll campaign vigorously for Bob Cliffe, and the Democrats will have nothing, as they’ve had for years.”
Candidates who aren’t members of a given party need that party’s specific authorization to run in its primary. Larson is an associate of former Supervisor Timothy E. Demler, a Republican who is at odds with the GOP regulars.