© 2022 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Local party leaders face busy election calendar

WBFO News File Photo

Though the presidential election gets the most attention, a fast-approaching primary election is on the minds of local party leaders as they maneuver for control of the state legislature.

Political organizations are getting the machinery moving for the state Legislature primary election September 13, before the rush for the White House.  It's part of a busy year for party organizers.

"It is a little fatiguing, especially locally," admitted Jeremy Zellner, Chair of the Erie County Democratic Party. 

"We've had a federal primary. We've had a federal election. We'll have this primary. We've had a school board race. People are going out quite a bit over the last 8-10 months."

While New York has nearly twice as many Democrats as Republicans, that may not hold this year since both major political parties are running New Yorkers for president. That reality will keep Zellner and his volunteers busy through November. 

"Historically, we have been able to move our volunteers into swing states during the presidential year," Zellner said.

"I think this year there's a lot of different states at play so, I think, some of the swing states up here are going to be swamped with volunteers. And, we'd like to stay home to help our down-ticket races."

Zellner's Republican counterpart, Nick Langworthy, Chair of the Erie County Republican Party, is in somewhat the same situation. His party needs to persuade Democrats to switch to vote for Donald Trump, part of an effort that is likely to have less money than Hillary Clinton's organization. In the end, mobilizing the electorate will be key.

"We encourage them to get involved, get involved in the process," Zellner said.

Credit WBFO News File Photo
"Get involved in the process," encourages Jeremy Zellner, Chair of the Erie County Democratic Party.

"Get involved. Get out there. Talk to your neighbors. Talk to the voters and advocate for your candidate for whatever side you're on."


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.