At least 18 of the City of Buffalo's 27 Democratic zone chairmen are supporting Anthony M. Masiello's mayoral bid, reflecting the state senator's strong backing among party regulars.
But most of the remaining chairmen are longtime supporters of Mayor Griffin and are waiting to see if Griffin ally Stan Buczkowski enters the race before committing to a candidate.
No chairmen have announced for Common Council Majority Leader Eugene M. Fahey or Deputy Assembly Speaker Arthur O. Eve -- though not all black zone chairmen have announced their choices.
The breakdown seems to provide a snapshot of the current state of Buffalo's mayoral race as the "uncertain stage" heads toward a conclusion.
It is expected that the campaign will begin to assume a more concrete form within the next two weeks after Eve decides whether to enter the race.
In the meantime, Masiello continues to note progress among the party pros, especially after landing 9th Zone Chairman Daniel J. Glowacki last week.
Glowacki, a longtime Griffin supporter, said he was joining the Masiello camp despite the mayor's favorable words about a possible Buczkowski candidacy.
"With the mayor out of the picture, our people are looking at who would be the best candidate for the neighborhoods and the city," Glowacki said. "Fahey has been supportive, but Tony Masiello has delivered also. It's a matter of who can win, and we think Tony has presented himself as a good candidate."
Glowacki said his group always has been pro-Griffin but is going along with Chairman Vincent J. Sorrentino's efforts to unify the party. "Besides, if you sit around too long, you'll be out," he said.
Some Griffin supporters definitely are waiting -- even hoping -- for a Buczkowski candidacy, as per the mayor's orders.
"Stan's a good friend, and he'd make a good mayor," said 1st Zone Chairman Jerry Eagan, a Griffin man and employee of the Buffalo Sewer Authority. "I'm with him 100 percent if he decides."
Council Member at Large Rosemarie LoTempio, another Griffin ally and chairwoman of the 18th Zone, said she has made no official commitment, but she sounds like a Buczkowski supporter.
"If he runs, it would be tough to put friendship aside," she said. "Stan would be an excellent candidate."
Hope Hoetzer-Cook, chairwoman of the 23rd Zone and vice chairwoman of the Zone Chairman's Association, said she expects almost all black chairmen to support Masiello if Eve decides not to run. She also said it is wrong to believe Masiello's candidacy has been thrust upon party people by the party hierarchy.
"It's a misimpression to think that Tony has been picked from the top and his support has filtered down," she said. "The reality is that Tony's support has grown over the past three years and has filtered up."