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Three major political fund-raisers have been scheduled for January, and two are showcase examples of shifting political alliances.

The fund-raisers are for County Executive Gorski and Sheriff Thomas F. Higgins, both Democrats, and Surrogate Joseph S. Mattina, a Republican.

Gorski and Mattina, who are expected to run for re-election in 1991, face possible primary challenges.

Charles B. Barcelona, a businessman, is co-sponsoring a $1,000-a-plate luncheon Jan. 10 for Gorski, who faces a potential primary challenge from Mayor Griffin, an enrolled Democrat.

In 1987, Barcelona was a strong supporter of Republican County Executive Edward J. Rutkowski, who was defeated by Gorski.

Edward M. Flynn, an insurance executive, is helping to arrange a $250-a-ticket reception Jan. 16 for Mattina, who may be opposed by Family Court Judge John F. O'Donnell.

Flynn has agreed to be Mattina's campaign chairman.

When Mattina first ran for surrogate in 1981, Flynn managed the campaign of his Democratic opponent, Robert E. Whelan, now a State Supreme Court justice.

O'Donnell, whose late father, Thomas, was surrogate, said he expects to run for surrogate, an office that dispenses millions of dollars a year in patronage.

A Democrat, O'Donnell will announce his plans next month. If he runs, he could challenge Mattina in the primaries of the major and minor parties because the law permits judicial candidates to cross-file.

The other fund-raiser is for Higgins, a $91-a-ticket reception Jan. 23 at the Buffalo Convention Center. Higgins was re-elected to a four-year term as sheriff in 1989, with Flynn serving as his campaign chairman.

Flynn also served as campaign chairman for former Sheriff Kenneth J. Braun, a Republican.

Nathan Benderson, president of Benderson Development Co., is co-chairman with Barcelona of the Gorski luncheon, which will be held at noon in the Ramada Renaissance Hotel, Cheektowaga.

The reception for Mattina is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Westwood Country Club, Amherst.

Mattina is seeking the endorsements of both major parties in his bid for another term.

Friends say that if he is cross-endorsed by both major parties and is not opposed in the primary, Mattina will return campaign contributions.

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