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

Kearns's status with Assembly Democrats uncertain

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Michael "Mickey" Kearns, the South Buffalo Common Council member, is basking in victory one day after his unexpected landslide win over Christopher Fahey for the vacant 145th State Assembly District seat. Kearns will head off to Albany on Thursday.

Mayor Byron Brown congratulated Kearns, his former mayoral challenger, while meeting with reporters Wednesday.

"It was a very hard-fought campaign between two candidates that worked very aggressively. The people have spoken," said Mayor Brown.

"He has proven himself to be someone that fights hard for his constituents," Brown said. "Hopefully now-Assemblymember Kearns will fight hard for the people of Buffalo and Western New York in the New York State Assembly."

Unofficial returns have Kearns winning 57 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Fahey. The 145th Assembly District encompasses parts of the Fillmore and Lovejoy districts, South Buffalo, the Towns of West Seneca and Orchard Park, and the southern half of Lackawanna.

Kearns is taking the seat that was held by Mark Schroeder until his election as City of Buffalo Comptroller. His now-vacant council seat will be filled by city council members.

Meanwhile, Kearns' victory may cause some troubles in Albany.

Kearns, a Democrat who won running on the Republican line, has been a vocal critic of longtime Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.  Still, Kearns has expressed a desire to join the Assembly Democratic conference, though that is uncertain since it is headed by Silver.

Silver says Kearns has not contacted him yet about his new post.