Potential GOP candidates for Erie County Executive next year

Kearns, Jacobs, Lorigo, & Dixon among the candidates who could battle Poloncarz in 2019

Mike Baggerman
December 12, 2018 - 3:00 am

WBEN Photo/Matt Moran


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – We’re still well away from the 2019 election but one of the top races on the local front that will be highlighted include the election for Erie County Executive.

Last week, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, who planned to run against incumbent county executive Mark Poloncarz, announced he is now focused on a congressional run in 2020.

“Well, I think there’s a number of (candidates),” Carl Calabrese, a former deputy county executive and political analyst, told WBEN while adding that democrats heavily outweigh the republican electorate in the county.

Some people suggested by Calabrese include Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns, New York State Senator Chris Jacobs, and Erie County Legislators Joe Lorigo and Lynne Dixon.  

“I really haven’t given it much thought,” State Senator Chris Jacobs told WBEN. “I’ve just come off an election and heartened by how well we did.”

Jacobs said that between his re-election and the upcoming birth of a child, he’s occupied right now. However, the senator didn’t rule out the option of running in 2019, saying he’ll “give it it’s due” in the new year.

Mickey Kearns had a similar response when pressed about a 2019 run for county executive. The Erie County clerk also just won his own re-election for his first four-year term in the clerk seat.

“It’s very flattering to even be considered,” Kearns said. “I do understand the importance of the county executive’s office. I think it’s an office you can do a lot with.”

Kearns said that there’s a foreclosure crisis in Erie County that’s he’s addressing in his office with hopes to plan proposals to the legislature in upcoming sessions.

“Today you could think one way and in the future you could think another way,” Kearns, who is registered as a democrat and could run in a primary against Poloncarz, said.

Lorigo said he would “absolutely not” run for county executive in 2019. A message to Dixon were not returned.

Regardless of who is running against Poloncarz, it will likely be a tough climb. Poloncarz has been the county executive since 2012.

According to the New York State Board of Elections, the “Friends of Mark Poloncarz” has raised a total of $397,716 as of July.

Jacobs, in the latest filing from his run for state senate, has $346,561 remaining while Kearns and Dixon have $2,822 and $14,630, respectively.

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