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LISTEN ON DEMAND: THIS AMERICAN LIFE tribute to the 10 killed in the Tops Market shootings.

Kearns scores upset in 145th Assembly race

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WBFO News file photo
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Michael Kearns

In a major political upset, South District Common Council member Mickey Kearns will be going to Albany to fill the Assembly seat vacated by City Comptroller Mark Schroeder instead of Chris Fahey, the candidate of Congressman Brian Higgins.

Going into Tuesday's balloting to fill the State Assembly, the conventional wisdom was that Democratic candidate Fahey would win, buoyed by Congressman  Higgins and his allies in a heavily Democratic district.

When the ballots were counted from a heavy turnout on a beautiful day, Council member Mickey Kearns, the Republican candidate, was the winner and by a lot of votes.

Kearns received 7,106 votes or 57% of ballots cast to 5,357 for Fahey or 43%. 

Kearns thanked voters Tuesday night in South Buffalo at the Knights of Columbus on South Legion Drive. 

"I guess Father Baker got his third miracle," said Kearns.  "Political bosses did not want to give you a choice."

Fahey talked with reporters Tuesday night about his defeat while at the Irish Center in South Buffalo. 

Fahey noted that normally a special election draws lower voter turnout.

"But this  was a pretty good turnout.  I'm pleased that the campaign brought out voters...that's a very good thing," said Fahey. 

The Erie County Republican Party is celebrating a win in a heavily democratic district.  

Kearns replaces former state Assemblyman Mark Schroeder who was elected Buffalo Comptroller last fall. 

Kearns will need to reboot his campaign and run again this fall in the November election if he wishes to retain the seat.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.