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Trump verdict expected to have notable local impact

Former President Donald Trump, pictured here at a campaign rally.

Former President Donald Trump has been found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to an adult film star, and the fallout already is being felt locally.

Even after Trump’s guilty verdict, there’s a split on how it will impact November’s presidential election.

Having a convicted felon run for office would be embarrassing, Chautauqua County Democratic Party Chair Marcia Westling Johnson said.

“It would be such an embarrassment to our country, and it's not like he is Nelson Mandela, who was fighting for the freedom of his country," she said. "I know he's made that comparison, but there is no comparison. And anyone who actually is patriotic would probably want someone who would fight for the country, not just himself.”

Cattaraugus County Republican Chair Mark Heberling thinks many New York voters will sympathize with Trump, and he thinks Trump could win the state. Heberling points the previous gubernatorial election as a fitting example, where Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin was close to defeating Governor Kathy Hochul.

“The recent polls have already shown that, that people that were considered independent in your city areas are supporting President Trump," he said. "I believe that the latest poll I saw, you know, some of the places show a dead heat, certain communities that were typically democratic are not that way anymore.”

Trump has said he will appeal the trial verdict.