Who’s running in local and state races?

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Presidential race isn’t the only one that matters this Tuesday. Other contested seats exist in the State Senate, State Assembly and Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

Here are profiles of some of the candidates running in the local and state elections:

60th Senate

Amber Small

  • Grew up in a small town as the daughter of a union welder
  • Over the past few years, I have served as the Executive Director of the Parkside Community Association.
  • Prior to my work with the PCA served as the community engagement coordinator for Planned Parenthood, and worked in municipal finance and budgeting through the City of Buffalo.
  • Member of the Board of Directors for B-Team Buffalo. Each year they work with hundreds of volunteers to promote a lasting sense of civic pride in the Greater Buffalo area through high-impact, volunteer-driven events.
  • A constant advocate for regeneration and sustainable development.
  • Achieving gender balance in government and the workplace has been a priority throughout all her work.
  • At the inaugural TEDXBuffalo Women event in 2013 I highlighted not only gender disparities in government and politics, but the work being done to correct this imbalance and strengthen the voice of women voters.
  • Was a recognized by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County in 2015’s Women Who Move the City, the Changemakers 30 Under 30 Class of 2016, and the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women with their 2016 Woman of Courage, Character and Commitment Award.

Chris Jacobs

  • Co-founded the BISON Scholarship Fund (Buffalo Inner-city Scholarship Opportunity Network) in 1995. The BISON Fund provides scholarships to City of Buffalo residents to attend private grade schools.
  • In 2002, Chris founded Avalon Development aimed to revitalize Main Street in Buffalo.
  • County Clerk for Erie County.
  • Made the Erie County Thank A Vet Program the largest veterans discount card program in New York State.
  • Was Secretary of State of New York and was twice a candidate for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of New York as the running mate of both former Massachusetts William Weld in 2006 and Steve Levy in 2010.

NYS Assembly 143rd

Russell Sugg – Village of Lancaster trustee

Monica Wallace

  • Teaches Advanced Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research at SUNY Buffalo Law School. 
  • Served as a confidential law clerk to Hon. Richard J. Arcara, United States District Court Judge for the Western District of New York, and as a law clerk to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
    • Has assisted in the judicial resolution of hundreds of federal motions, trials, and appeals. She also has participated in drafting court rules and procedures.
    • Practiced law in the commercial litigation and commercial lending departments at Phillips Lytle LLP.
    • Active member of the Women’s Bar Association for the State of New York, and has served as State Director, Co-Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Chair of the Membership Committee, and Co-Chair of the Employment Law Committee.
    • Member of the Lancaster YMCA Board, and she was recently appointed to serve on the Legal Writing Institute’s Bar Outreach Committee.
    • See her CV here: http://www.law.buffalo.edu/content/dam/law/restricted-assets/pdf/faculty/cv/wallace_monica_cv.pdf

NYS Assembly

John Ceretto

  • Niagara Falls native John Ceretto represents the people of the 145th district in the New York State Assembly.
  • Attended La Salle Senior High School in Niagara Falls and is a graduate of Niagara University with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Education and Administration. While still in college, John worked for the Carborundum Abrasive Company. Upon completing his education, John worked as a substitute teacher in many of the local schools and then worked for 20 years at the Tulip Corporation in Niagara Falls.
  • In 1995, John Ceretto was elected as a councilman on the Lewiston Town Board.
  • In 2005, John was elected Niagara County Legislator in the 12th District.
  • Served as Vice-Chairman of the Niagara County Economic Development Committee and Chairman of the Niagara County Refuse Department.
  • Member of the Lewiston Kiwanis, the Lewiston #2 Fire Hall, the Christoforo Columbo Society, the Lewiston – Porter Historical Society and the Sanborn Historical Society

Angelo Morinello

  • Retired Niagara Falls City Court Judge (started in 2002)
  • Partner at Siegel, Kellher & Kahn (1990 – 1998)
  • Worked as in-house counsel for the family business Certo Brothers Distributing Co., which was founded by his grandfather Peter J. Certo. He said that as a former county assistant district attorney, counsel to Niagara Falls Community Development and an attorney in business law, he is “well aware” of the needs and the people in the 145th District.

Erie County District Attorney

       John Flynn

  • He is currently the Town Attorney in Tonawanda, a Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve and an attorney in private practice
  • Teaches a course on legal issues at SUNY Buffalo State.
  • Was raised in East Aurora, NY, where he graduated from Immaculate Conception Grammar School and East Aurora High School.
  • Attended Bowling Green State majoring in Political Science with History minor. During college, he had his first experience with public service during an internship with Congressman Henry J. Nowak.
  • Joined U.S. Navy after college. He attended Naval Officer Candidate School, in Newport, Rhode Island, and upon graduation was commissioned an Ensign. He then attended Navy Supply Corps School (the Navy’s business school) in Athens, Georgia, and was then assigned to the USS CLEVELAND (LPD-7), stationed in San Diego. There he served as the Assistant Supply Officer deploying overseas to the Western Pacific during his two-year tour and served during the Gulf War. He was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade.
  • Returned to Buffalo and attended the SUNY Buffalo Law School. While enrolled, he continued to serve in the Naval Reserves achieving the rank of full Lieutenant. After law school, he returned to active duty and served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG). He served as a Navy attorney at Pensacola Naval Air Station before being selected to be on staff at the United States Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland. Flynn was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals during his time on active duty.
  • Left active duty and was hired as an Erie County Assistant District Attorney. Flynn continues to serve in the Naval Reserve and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 2002 and Commander in 2008. He currently serves as a litigation attorney assigned to the Office of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) of the Navy, in Washington, D.C. Since re-affiliating with the reserves in 2001, Flynn has earned three additional Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.
  • In 2003, Flynn entered public office, running and winning election to the Tonawanda Town Board. In December 2006, Flynn was appointed Town Justice in the Town of Tonawanda and won election to a full term in 2007. In 2008, Flynn was appointed an acting Buffalo City Court Judge.

Joe Treanor

  • Retired United States Air Force JAG Colonel with over 28 years of active duty experience.
  • Received both his undergrad and law degrees from the University of Notre Dame.
  • His many awards and decorations include both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal with Valor (V) device.
  • Treanor has already served as the military equivalent of a civilian District Attorney. He has handled over 100 serious cases that span the legal spectrum ranging from child abuse to international terrorism.
  • He was a member of the prosecution team who brought Saddam Hussein to justice for his crimes against humanity.
  • Since his retirement, Joe has performed pro bono legal services for our veterans and other deserving clients.

Joe served as a Leadership Executive for the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County during the 2015-2016 United Way campaign.

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