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REPUBLICAN CHIEF BACKS KLOCH FOR COUNTY BENCH

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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