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WNY Republicans prepared for national convention

WBFO News File Photo/Michael Mroziak

The center of the Republican world is in Cleveland today, as the party's national convention kicks off.  Several local GOP heavyweights are heading to Ohio, hoping to make history.

The convention's start carries a wave of enthusiasm as strategists hope New York State will vote Republican in November.

"It's clearly going to be a competitive race," said Former Niagara County Republican Chairman and convention delegate Henry Wojtaszek.

"There really wasn't any optimism (in recent elections) that New York was in play. But, with this year's ticket, New York is in play. So, count me as optimistic that Donald Trump has a chance of winning New York."

That would require a lot of registered Democrats to mark a different line on election ballots. 

"Donald Trump has added a Midwestern voice that can address issues of trade, address issues of job loss and make the Rust Belt an area of the country that is really in play for the Republican candidate, much more so that we had with Mitt Romney or other candidates running," said Nick Langworthy, Chair of the Erie County Republican Party. He  expects this to be an election which goes right down to Election Day.

Local businessman Carl Paladino expects the state to reject of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who, he points out, is a transplanted New Yorker. With Indiana Governor Mike Pence of the GOP ticket, Paladino predicts a runaway victory. 

"We're going to have Indiana. We're going to have Pennsylvania. We're going to have Florida. We're going to have Ohio," Paladino said.

"The blue collar, white collar working man is going to find it more suitable to be with Donald Trump in the future than with his opponent."

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.