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Whelan Decides to Run for County Comptroller

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Candidates continue lining up to become the next Erie County comptroller.

The man who served as Buffalo's top fiscal watchdog for 14 years says he has the experience be the next county comptroller. Former Buffalo City Comptroller Robert Whelan says was successful in keeping city spending in check.

"Fourteen years of fiscal results showed no red ink, something no one has done in this area or the state for the last 70 years," Whelan said. "I restored the city's bond rating. These things are all part of what I know need to be done in order to repair the damage."

Whelan says he believes County Executive Joel Giambra is partly responsible for the county's fiscal mess. But he says comptroller Nancy Naples is also part of the problem. Whelan says Naples was wrong to use the same bond writer for county borrowing.

"That will require repairing something that I know I can repair within the investment banking community. They have institutional memories and they know how fairly I treated them during the 14 years I was there, and it should never be one company, or one individual," Whelan said. "It cost the county taxpayers millions as far as I'm concerned."

Whelen says he will be seeking the Democratic Party's endorsement. He also served 14 years as a State Supreme Court judge. Naples says she won't seek re-election.

Two other candidates recently announced a run for the post -- Buffalo attorney Mark Poloncarz and former city auditor Richard Pawarski.