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NIAGARA FALLS – Less than a month before voters will cast their ballots for City Council, incumbent Samuel F. Fruscione has inserted himself back into the race.

Fruscione, who blamed his loss in the primary in part on what he called a character assassination by the media, said Tuesday that he will actively campaign for a third four-year term on the Council.

He lost the Democratic line when he finished fourth in a four-way primary in September, and indicated then he would not actively campaign for the seat even though he still had the Conservative and Independence lines in next month’s general election.

“I had no choice but to reintroduce my campaign to the public again one more time and that’s what we’re doing,” he said. “We just sat back for, I don’t know, 30, 40 days and did nothing because there’s no need to. It’s just a waste of time and effort and money. We’ll wait for two weeks out and begin pounding away there.”

Fruscione’s return can already be seen, as his image is appearing on two billboards in the city.

In the ad, Fruscione appears with Republican candidates Russell F. Vesci and Councilman Robert A. Anderson Jr., with the sign indicating Anderson’s support of the two candidates. The billboards are on Pine Avenue and Hyde Park Boulevard.

Tuesday, Fruscione said that on primary night, he was only conceding the primary race.

Fruscione is part of the three-member Council majority, a faction that many believe held up a $25 million downtown development project.

There are seven candidates on the ballot for three open seats, and Fruscione is the only candidate without a major party line.

Republican Robert J. Elder dropped out of the race last week for what he said were personal reasons, but he remains on the ballot.

Kristen M. Grandinetti, Andrew P. Touma and Charles A. Walker will be on the Democratic line; Touma and Grandinetti also will be on the Working Families line.

Vesci and Vincent M. Sandonato remain on the GOP line, and will also be on the Independence and Conservative lines. Sandonato also has the Green Party and Working Families lines.

Walker and Grandinetti are the other two incumbents.

email: abesecker@buffnews.com