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County Clerk Says Tim Russert Was Mentor, Funeral Arrangements Announced

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – As Buffalo continues to mourn the loss of favorite son, Tim Russert, a prominent local elected leader says Russert was her mentor when she first started in politics 30 years ago.

Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul was a high school student in 1976 when she began volunteering for the County Democratic party. Those were heady days. County Chairman Joseph Crangle was state Democratic chairman at the time. Hochul says both she and Russert were part of the team at party headquarters in the old Genesee Building downtown.

Russert went on to serve as chief of staff to Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Hochul credits Russert with putting in a good word for her many years later when she was hired as counsel to Moynihan.

Like many of us, Hochul said she was left breathless when hearing news of Russert's death last Friday. She said Russert will be irreplaceable as a Buffalo booster on the national scene.

Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, and Buffalo Congressman Brian Higgins, will ask their colleagues on Capitol Hill to support renaming a stretch of highway near Ralph Wilson Stadium after the late Tim Russert.

A public wake for the South Buffalo native will take place in Washington Tuesday, with private funeral services scheduled there for Wednesday. There's no word if there will be a memorial service for Russert here in Buffalo.

Several hundred people turned out for a candlelight vigil at Tim Russert Park in West Seneca Sunday night.

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