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Two races could determine control of the Erie County Legislature

Republicans could lose control of the Erie County Legislature on Election Day. Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy believes two races will determine who will be the majority party.

"This one has gained attention from both parties right from the get-go," McCarthy said of the race in Erie County's 8th District.

"The Dems, I think, have been smelling blood there with (incumbent Republican) Ted Morton who has all kinds of financial difficulties in his background," McCarthy offered during his weekly discussion on WBFO.

"So, they take the former president of the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce, obviously someone who is very well known in the community, and they have been really pushing Debra Liegl throughout this entire election campaign."

Another close race is expected in Amherst where Republicans are looking to unseat an incumbent.

"They have Guy Marlette, who is a member of the Amherst Town Council, obviously very well known there as the Republican candidate. It's a full court press by the Republicans to unseat someone they feel has been there too long."    

Marlette will need to defeat Thomas Loughran, who has held the seat since 2006. In a district where Republicans often enjoy electoral success, Loughran has been able to maintain his position.

"Believe it or not he (Loughran) has always been able to maintain the Conservative Party backing," McCarthy explained.

"In New York State, that's a very important thing, sometimes, to have minor party backing. In Upstate New York and in Erie County, the Conservative Party backing often proves very crucial in a close election."

After the dust settles on Election Day 2015, local Democrats will be active in preparing for 2016. On November 10, Hillary Clinton will bring her Presidential campaign to Buffalo for a fundraiser.

The specifics weren't available as of Wednesday morning.

While such events are "usually very private affair(s)," McCarthy expects something different for Clinton.

"I think it will be in a large venue with a lot of people. I think that's going to be the idea, is to show all kinds of widespread grassroots support here."


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Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.