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Brown and Swanick Pull Out of Congressional Race

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – The last two high profile local Democrats interested in a congressional run in the newly configured 28th district have opted out. Late Monday, Erie County Legislator Charles Swanick and State Senator Byron Brown both announced they are withdrawing from what would have been a difficult race.

Keeping his options open, Swanick gathered nearly 2,500 signatures in support of his candidacy. Last week, he formally submitted the petitions. Swanick says he held off on a decision, waiting to see what fellow Democrat State Senator Byron Brown would do.

Brown never submitted signatures, but could have used Swanick's -- with his blessing. Monday, Swanick and Brown ended speculation. Swanick, frustrated by Brown's late decision, says it was a needlessly costly delay.

"I lost some very precious time in this process of waiting for people to make decisions, and I can't recoup that time - I can't turn it around," said Swanick. "You know the loss of time has really made it impossible for me to run, even with constituent support. You still need the time to put together the mecahnics of a campaign, and that's what I can't do now."

There had been reports that a behind the scene deal was being orchestrated that would have put Brown on the primary ballot for Congress, with Swanick lining up to fill Brown's State Senate seat. To do that, Brown would have needed Swanick to sign over his petitions.

Now a moot point, Swanick says the 2,500 signatures will be terminated with his notification to the Board of Elections, declining the nomination.

With both Brown and Swanick now out of the race, incumbent Democrat Louise Slaughter of Rochester is now free of a primary challenge. She'll face Henry Wojtaszek, former Niagara County Republican chairman, in November's election.