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GOP candidates open party headquarters

BATAVIA -- Seven candidates were on hand Saturday for the grand opening of the campaign headquarters of the Genesee County Republican Committee.

They were among 70 people who gathered at the former fast-food restaurant at West Main Street and Lewiston Road to urge a large vote in a county with only one Democrat among 19 elected officials.

Richard E. Seibert, the party's county chairman, praised Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, and State Sen. Mary Lou Rath, R-Williamsville, who are retiring, before introducing the candidates: Christopher J. Lee, vying for the congressional seat held for 10 years by Reynolds; Erie County Legislator Michael H. Ranzenhofer, a candidate for the State Senate; Jeffrey F. Voelkl, the endorsed candidate for State Supreme Court; Assemblymen Steven M. Hawley of Batavia and Daniel J. Burling of Warsaw; Sheriff Gary T. Mahal and County Treasurer Scott D. German.

The closely watched State Senate race pits Ranzenhofer against former boxer Joe Mesi, the Democratic candidate. Republicans now hold a 31-30 edge in the Senate, which they have dominated for about seven decades.


3,000 at Heart Walk raise $400,000

Saturday's 2008 Buffalo Niagara Start! Heart Walk in downtown Buffalo raised more than $400,000 for the American Heart Association.

Cronan Long, executive director of American Heart Association Buffalo Niagara, said proceeds from the 5K walk continue to grow. More than 3,000 people participated in the walk, which began at HSBC Arena and proceeded along the waterfront.

"We are thrilled that even in these troubling economic times, our community, corporate sponsors, neighbors and friends stepped up their giving to support the fight against heart disease and stroke," Long said.

Money raised by the American Heart Association and its Heart Walk is funneled back into the community through education, prevention programs and even research at the University at Buffalo, which this year received more than $1.5 million in American Heart Association grants. This year's heart Walk was sponsored by Subway Restaurants, Health Choice and AstraZeneca. Local sponsors include LPCiminelli, Time Warner Cable and HSBC.


Bowman to speak at Compeer gala

Scotty Bowman, the winningest coach in National Hockey League history, will be the keynote speaker Oct. 18 at Compeer of Greater Buffalo's 10th annual gala, the Miracle of Friendship, in Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Compeer enlists friends and mentors to help children and adults with mental health issues.

The gala also will honor the Walsh family of the Walsh Insurance Group for their philanthropy and dedication to Compeer. Larry Playfair, president of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association, will accept the Spirit of Compeer Award in recognition of the association's charitable work.

The evening also will include a VIP and cocktail reception, with a wine tasting hosted by the Niagara Wine Trail, and jazz by the Billy Baroo Trio.

For ticket and sponsorship information, call 883-3331, or visit


Gaughan urges Collins on regionalism efforts

Regionalism guru Kevin P. Gaughan is urging Erie County Executive Chris Collins to join him in his crusade to streamline municipal government instead of erecting barriers.

In a letter to Collins Friday, Gaughan points out that the county has sided with the Board of Elections, which invalidated petitions seeking a referendum aimed at reducing the West Seneca Town Board from five members to three.

". . . Erie County tax dollars are now being used to stop Erie County taxpayers from trying to save taxes," wrote Gaughan, who pointed out that Collins was elected on a platform of making government smaller and less costly.

A ruling on the November ballot proposition is pending in State Supreme Court.

Neither Gaughan nor Collins could be reached to comment Saturday.

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