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Attorney Michael Collesano Announces Candidacy for Congress

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Local attorney Michael Collesano announced his candidacy for Congress Thursday. He joins State Assemblyman Brian Higgins, West Seneca Town Supervisor Paul Clark and Chautauqua County Executive Mark Thomas in seeking the Democratic nod to succeed the retiring Jack Quinn.

While Collesano appears to lack name recognition, he won't admit to that. He says his family's name is known in our community, especially in Chautauqua County where relatives built a business that remains to this day. Collesano once served as counsel to former Congressman John LaFalce. And while he may be going up against some higher profile Democrats, he said he's prepared to take them on.

"I'm in this race because I think I can win," Collesano said. "The qualifications that make me unique are that I'm the youngest in the field, I'm the only one with Washington experience having worked for Congressman LaFalce and I'm the only one who's going to knock on every door to win this election."

Collesano practices law in Buffalo and New York City. In the mid-90s, he traveled around the world and once worked as a legal assistant at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. He says that global experience would serve him well as a congressman.

"I think the next century is going to be about the world and how we relate to it," Collesano said. "I think I have a grasp of it that some of the other candidates don't. That will be vital to bringing jobs to Western New York."

Collesano is asking Democratic party leaders in both Erie and Chautauqua Counties to leave the decision to voters in the September primary rather than trying to influence the outcome by making an endorsement.