To no one's surprise, James D. Griffin today formally announced he is seeking a record fourth term as mayor.
"Our job's not done," said Griffin, who already has served as mayor longer than anyone in the city's history.
"The bottom line is we want to have full employment in our city," said Griffin, who was accompanied by his wife, Margaret and three children.
"We've accomplished quite a bit . . . more will be done."
He made his announcement in a room packed with about 100 senior citizens and nearly 40 high-ranking officials from both his administration and the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority at a community center attached to the Sedita Apartments, 335 Summer St.
Griffin cited what he said were his accomplishments during his 11 years in office: development of the city's waterfront and revitalization of downtown, including the construction of Pilot Field; stabilizing of city finances; slow growth in property taxes; creation or retention of 23,000 jobs; assistance to more than 400 companies; and the construction of new housing.
If re-elected, Griffin said he would work toward bringing a major league baseball team to Buffalo, renovating Memorial Auditorium and acquiring more land for industrial use.
His announcement was expected. As reported in Sunday's Buffalo News, he declared his intention to run in a meeting Friday with Conservative Party members. He also issued a statement Sunday to the Metro Community News, a free-circulation newspaper that has supported the mayor in the past.
The mayor usually declines to speak to the city's daily news media except at monthly news conferences.
Griffin failed to win the two contested Democratic primaries in which he has run, in 1977 and 1985. He joins a crowded field of four other announced Democratic candidates, including state Assemblyman William B. Hoyt, the Democrats' endorsed candidate; former Chief City Court Judge Wilbur P. Trammell, State Sen. Anthony M. Masiello; and City Comptroller Robert E. Whelan.
Griffin is all but assured a spot on the November ballot regardless of how he fares in the Democratic primary on Sept. 12. He is expected to win the Republican endorsement and is vying with Whelan for Conservative backing.
Then a state senator, Griffin was elected in 1977 on the Conservative Party line, defeating the endorsed Democrat, state Assemblyman Arthur O. Eve. Griffin was re-elected in 1981 with only token opposition, and again in 1985, when he used the Republican and Conservative lines to defeat the Democratic nominee, Council President George K. Arthur.