John Flynn wins Democratic Primary for Erie County DA

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — John Flynn has won the Democratic Primary for Erie County District Attorney.

Flynn, who served for 28 years as a Navy JAG Officer, ran on both the Democratic and Conservative primary tickets.

His opponents on the Democratic ballot were Mark Sacha and Acting District Attorney Michael Flaherty. Flaherty became the Acting DA when former DA Frank Sedita III, was sworn in as a State Supreme Court Justice at the end of last year.

On the Conservative ballot, Flynn lost to Joe Treanor III, who had the backing of the Erie County GOP. Flynn will face off against Treanor in November’s General Election, where Flynn will appear on the Democratic line, the Working Families Party line and the Women’s Equality line.

“The grassroots support of the people of Erie County, and the people who work within the Democratic Party recognize that I was the best candidate for the job and that’s why they endorsed me,” Flynn said during his acceptance speech Tuesday night at his campaign headquarters in Amherst. “They didn’t endorse me because I’m some politician. They didn’t endorse me because I’m some sort of political pawn. They know better than that.”

Flynn has long said he is the change that’s needed in the county’s top law enforcement position.
“They all know that as DA I will be independent. I will be trustworthy and honest, and I will act like the commander that I am in the Navy and do the right thing each time, every time, all the time,” he said.

Flynn, who is a former homicide prosecutor, has declared he would fight against “illegal guns, prescription drug addiction and public corruption.”

Flaherty’s night began poorly when the polls closed and the first results were released at approximately 9:25 p.m. Flynn never looked back from the early lead.

“Of course I’m disappointed, but the voters who participated today, they spoke and they decided to go with somebody else,” Flaherty said from his election night spot at Statler City. “I will continue to work hard as the district attorney, as I’ve already established myself during the preceding eight months, and you can expect to see the same results from me as you did so far this year.”

Flaherty told reporters following his concession speech he’s never been much for politics. But it’s a crucial part of getting elected.
“I’ve always taken the position that good government is good politics,” he said. “So if I succeed in the office, that will show results at the polls. I was mistaken. But I will continue to work hard.”
Flaherty said it was too early to determine why, after eight months on the job, voters chose Flynn instead.
“I’ll leave the analysis to the experts,” he said. “I’m not a political person. I’m not a politician. I am a prosecutor. I had a political team working for me and I’ll let them do the analysis after looking at the numbers and looking at the results.
“The politics isn’t very fun,” he added. “So I don’t know, I don’t I haven’t really thought about what I want to do politically. Again it’s not my milieu, as it were.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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