Democrats eye seat being vacated by Maziarz

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – As the federal government investigates veteran State Senator George Maziarz’s office, time is slipping away for the Republican Party.

Tuesday afternoon, North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt officially announced he will run on the Republican Party ticket. Sources tell News 4, Ortt is the politician who will be nominated.

This will be a very strategic election cycle for the state Democrats, especially in the Senate, which is currently under Republican control.

Senator Tim Kennedy, who is also running for re-election, said Maziarz stepping aside could lead to a Democratic takeover in the Senate.

He would not, however, comment on the looming federal investigation of Maziarz and his staff. Both he and Assemblyman Sean Ryan spoke positively of the senator from Newfane, agreeing his retirement means a loss for Western New Yorkers.

“They’re big shoes to fill, but I believe that we need to fill them with the appropriate person,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy says that person should be a Democrat.

“I believe that the Democrats are going to retake the majority in the Senate. So by backing a strong Democrat, we’ll have a very strong voice coming out of the Western New York community to continue the leadership that Senator Maziarz began,” he said.

Ryan said, at first, he couldn’t understand why Maziarz focused on all of Buffalo, even though his district is in Niagara and Orleans counties.

“He said, ‘We all have to be the senators and assemblymembers of Western New York, that’s how we’re going to get things done and grow Western New York,” Ryan said.

Maziarz has still not commented on his retirement further beyond the statement he issued this past Sunday.

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