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Niagara County Republican Chairman John J. Long said Sunday he is endorsing North Tonawanda City Judge Richard C. Kloch Sr. for Niagara County judge.

Long said he faxed a letter to Gov. George E. Pataki Friday recommending that the governor appoint Kloch to the vacant county judgeship that opened up when Republican Amy J. Fricano was elected a State Supreme Court justice in November.

Long said he had been interested in Assemblyman David E. Seaman, R-Lockport, for the judgeship. "Dave Seaman has told me he's running for the Assembly," Long said.

As for Kloch, Long said, "He's very electable. He's a good candidate, and well known." However, Long warned, "This doesn't mean it's a done deal. It's up to the governor." Five other local attorneys have sent in applications.

Pataki's appointment would only be for the rest of this year; a full 10-year term will be filled at this November's election.

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