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Pridgen elected Common Council president

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Chris Caya/WBFO News
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By a unanimous vote, Rev. Darius Pridgen has been elected president of the Buffalo Common Council.Pridgen has represented the Ellicott District for three years. Hundreds of his supporters attended the council's reorganization meeting on Thursday. Bonnie Russell, who represents the University District, says she is not surprised by the show of support.

"Reverend Pridgen is just one of those types of people [who] builds relationships with everyone," said Russell.

Pridgen takes over the presidency from Rich Fontana. He reportedly was so confident he had the votes, he already began moving into the president's office prior to Thursday's session.

"For this council, for the first time since they have been appointing within the council, to have a unanimous vote around one person is a historic day and I'm thankful to be part of this history," Pridgen said.

Fillmore District Councilman David Franczyk says he voted for Pridgen because he has "tremendous energy, charisma and great ideas."

"He has the potential to make the Common Council an independent branch of government, which it is not," Franczyk said. "It lost its independence two years ago. You need a counter-balance. I think that's very important. The Common Council has been an instrument of Mayor Brown, lock, stock and barrel."

Pridgen says he is "hitting the ground running." Starting Tuesday he says city residents will be able to watch council meetings live on TV.