Erie County Republican Chairman Victor N. Farley suffered a setback Thursday evening when the West Seneca GOP Town Committee called on him to resign as party leader.
Robert H. Meier, who is a former minority leader of the County Legislature and sponsored the resolution, said it passed unanimously at the committee's monthly meeting.
The effort represented another blow to Farley's announced bid to seek re-election to another term as chairman in September. Earlier, party leaders in Amherst, Cheektowaga and Clarence called for a change in leadership.
Farley said he has been told there was not a quorum at the West Seneca meeting and that the resolution had no legal standing.
Meier said 23 committee members were at the meeting in Harvey D. Morin Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars. He described the turnout as "about normal."
Farley acknowledged that "some people are unhappy." But he said that, as the year progresses, "we'll straighten out our problems and move forward." Farley is in his 12th year as GOP county leader.
Donald Cummins, the West Seneca GOP leader, presided at the meeting. Meier said Cummins, a Farley ally who works at the Board of Elections, tried unsuccessfully to block the motion, then abstained when the vote was taken.
Cummins could not be reached to comment.
"It's nothing personal," said Meier, who served in the County Legislature nine years, two of them as minority leader.
"I've been a friend of Farley's for 12 years, but I just think it's time for a change."
Meier said he didn't have anyone in particular in mind as Farley's successor but mentioned Assemblyman Thomas M. Reynolds of Springville as a possibility.
"And there are several others who should be considered," added Meier.
Reynolds has said he won't seek the chairmanship unless Farley voluntarily bows out.
The same position has been taken by Robert E. Davis, the GOP leader in the Town of Tonawanda.
Meanwhile, Eugene F. Pigott of Buffalo, a former county attorney and GOP vice chairman, is expected to announce soon that he will again challenge Farley for the chairmanship. Pigott tried unsuccessfully to unseat Farley in 1988.
Another potential challenger to Farley is Thomas A. Loughran, an Amherst restaurateur who was a delegate to the 1988 GOP National Convention.