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Leadership Change for State Republicans

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – There will be a change in the leadership of the State Republican Party.

Chairman Alexander "Sandy" Treadwell will step down from the post he's held since 2001. He's expected to receive a seat on the Republican National Committee. The leading contender to succeed Treadwell is Monroe County GOP Chairman Stephen Minarik. His counterpart in Erie County, Bob Davis, says Minarik would be a good choice.

"When I became chairman of Erie County eight years ago, Steve was already the chairman in Monroe County," Davis said. "He had developed a great reputation of being a winner. I think our party will be well served by Stephen Minarik. He has my support."

Some downstate Republicans are suggesting the state party is in turmoil after several setbacks in last week's elections. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry won New York's 31 electoral votes. Democratic Senator Charles Schumer was re-elected with 70 percent of the vote. And Democrats made gains in the state Senate and Assembly. Davis said a review of what happened is appropriate.

"Our party needs to take a look at where we are today and where we need to be in two years," Davis said. "That's when we'll need to run a US Senate campaign against Hillary Clinton. We're also running our entire state ticket, from governor to the attorney general and state comptroller."

Erie County was a bright spot for state Republicans where Jack Quinn, the third, captured an Assembly seat that previously had been held by a Democrat. Also, the party's candidate for Congress in the heavily Democratic 27th district waged a spirited campaign. Nancy Naples has so far refused to concede her race against Democrat Brian Higgins who is ahead, pending a recount.