Camille Brandon, a longtime fixture in local Democratic politics, is emerging as the leading candidate for the Cheektowaga-based Assembly seat that Dennis H. Gabryszak vacated in January.
Both Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner and Cheektowaga Chairman Frank C. Max Jr. – who often are at odds – say they are receptive to a Brandon candidacy, though neither has formally offered an endorsement.
“She seems to really want it, and that’s appealing to me,” Zellner said. “I think she’d do a good job in the Assembly.”
Max said he also has had positive discussions with Brandon and believes that a united Democratic front would prove successful against Republican nominee Angela M. Wozniak.
“If they do the right thing and we all work together, that would be great,” he said.
Brandon, 70, was a longtime assistant to then-County Executive Dennis T. Gorski and retains many contacts from that wing of the Democratic Party. She now works in the office of Republican County Clerk Christopher L. Jacobs.
None of this means, however, that all Democrats are united. Democrats close to former Erie County Democratic Chairman G. Steven Pigeon say his forces could still field their own candidate and force a primary. Kristy L. Mazurek, a political operative close to Pigeon, has been mentioned most often.
Many political observers say Pigeon seeks a primary to assist State Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy, D-Buffalo, a close ally facing his own tough primary this year against Legislature Minority Leader Betty Jean Grant of Buffalo. The aim of a primary would be to drive to the polls Cheektowaga’s mostly white voters to counter Grant’s support in the black community.
The Assembly and Senate districts overlap.