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ALBION – The Orleans County Conservative Party has endorsed challenger Gia Arnold for the 62nd District State Senate seat over 19-year incumbent Republican State Sen. George D. Maziarz, party chairman Allen Lofthouse said Thursday.

“I didn’t want to be a hypocrite. We’ve been pushing term limit petitions,” Lofthouse said in explaining the party committee’s choice. He said what he liked about Arnold, 24, was “her age and her passion.”

Arnold, a Holley housewife, has emphasized support for Second Amendment gun rights as a mainstay of her campaign.

As for Maziarz, Lofthouse said, “He’s a good man, but (he’s been in office for) 19 years, and I don’t see where Orleans County, other than the school districts, has benefitted.”

The 62nd District includes all of Niagara and Orleans counties and a slice of Monroe County. Maziarz said he has the endorsement of the Niagara and Monroe Conservatives.

“I am not surprised that the Orleans County Conservative Committee went with their hometown candidate,” he said, adding that many “rank-and-file Orleans County Conservatives” support him. Maziarz said he was named the most conservative member of the Senate last year and after talking to state party chairman Mike Long, he expects to have the party’s overall endorsement as he has in all his previous re-election races.