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Wanted: GOP candidate for Erie County Executive

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Top officials from Erie County's Republican Party are in the market for someone to run against the Democratic incumbent, Mark Poloncarz. Earlier this week, County Clerk Chris Jacobs announced he would not run. County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw previously made his intentions clear also not run.  So who will it be and why is no one eager to run for the office?WBFO Morning Edition Host Jay Moran spoke with Buffalo News political reporter Robert McCarthy Wednesday morning about the situation.

McCarthy calls Jacobs' decision not to run "a great disappointment to the Republican party of Erie County." 

"They saw Chris Jacobs as their real hope, a guy who has a track record of winning county-wide, can raise funds, is well-known, has cross over appeal with Democrats," McCarthy said.

"I think what's behind that is probably what the polling is showing, says McCarthy. "Everything that I hear is that Mark Poloncarz has a pretty big lead. Sometimes timing is everything in politics. Sometimes you have to be smart enough to say this is the year to back off."

"What we're seeing right now is someone who has not had any financial difficulties... scandals... we're not seeing any particular high tax increases...  things are kind of quiet in the Rath Building and that's good for Mark Poloncarz," notes McCarthy. "He couldn't have asked for anything better. There are some problems. He's got some problems with Child Protective Services and some other bumps in the road that any candidate is going to strongly emphasize throughout a campaign but for the most part he seems to be sailing along quietly."

On the issue of who will run, McCarthy says "Every indication points to Assemblyman Ray Walter of East Amherst... My indications are there's going to be some kind of discussion about it this weekend and probably a formal announcement next week. He is ready to go. While he may not be the top tier candidate, the Republicans feel very good about him and there's no question that they are predicting a very hard, well fought, probably well funded campaign against Mark Poloncarz."

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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.
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