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Businessman Steve Calvaneso Officially Enters Mayor's Race

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – There's now another candidate in the race to succeed Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello. Businessman Steve Calvaneso announced his candidacy late yesterday afternoon.

The list of Democratic mayoral hopefuls continues to grow. Steve Calvaneso declared his candidacy before an enthusiastic crowd of supporters at one of his downtown Buffalo restaurants. For Calvaneso, it's his first run for elective office. He tells WBFO News that it's time for a business person to occupy the mayor's second floor office in City Hall.

"You need organization, communication skills, goal setting, benchmarking and holding people accountable," Calvaneso said.

But Calvaneso said it was a difficult decision. He admits it's always a challenge for an outsider to enter the political arena. Calvaneso said he had to overcome his reluctance to ask friends and business contacts for money.

"We've only done one fundraiser," Calvaneso said. "It was incredibly successful. We raised more than $75,000."

Calvaneso said he's not seeking, nor does he expect to receive, the endorsement of the Erie County Republican Party.

"I have talked to Len Lenihan," Calvaneso said. "He's been extremely cordial, especially with me being an outsider."

And even though he officially entered the race just yesterday, Calvaneso said the reaction in the weeks leading up to his announcement has been positive.

"Every time I talk with a new individual, it gives me more energy," Calvaneso said. "It reinforces that I'm doing the right thing. People are desperately looking for someone new to step in and take leadership of this city."

Calvaneso said he doesn't expect his various businesses will suffer while he's hitting city streets campaigning. He says he has left a well qualified chief operating officer in charge.