NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Now that Senator George Maziarz has announced he will not run for re-election, the clock is ticking to fill his spot on the November ballot.
There are only three days to get a replacement candidate and North Tonawanda Mayor Robert Ortt is among those considering putting his name on the ballot. He told News 4 he plans to make his decision in the next day.
Ortt, who says he was shocked by Maziarz’s decision, said he is still gauging support and working out the possibility with his family.
“It was equally shocking hearing my name brought about on the news because I hadn’t spoken to anyone about that at that time so my day has been a little different from a normal Monday here at City Hall,” Ortt said.
Niagara County Republican Chairman Scott Kiedrowski said he was also surprised by the news, but believes the senator’s reasoning for retiring.
He said, “He likes to travel and he has a wedding coming up with one of his daughters. It’s a very grueling job, he is gone most sessions four or five days a week and comes home but then is always out and about.”
Republican Gia Arnold, a State Senate hopeful, was also surprised.
“I was a bit surprised to see someone that has been campaigning for several months and has received endorsements from the parties and even gotten signatures on the ballot line all of a sudden come up and decline the nomination and not seek a re-election and I wonder how long this has been the plan,” Arnold said.
Kiedrowski said he will be meeting with the chairpersons from Orleans and Monroe Counties to get on the same page. Though Kiedrowski believes Ortt would make a strong candidate, he says nothing has been planned.
“It’s very easy to say that things are planned but I believe that if Rob ends up being the candidate, I feel he’s a well-rounded candidate and would bring a lot to the State Senate,” Kiedrowski said.