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GOP CHAIRMAN CRITICIZES RESTAINO CAMPAIGN FLIERS

County Republican Chairman Henry F. Wojtaszek is charging that a flier mailed last week by his sister's opponent for city judge was "deceitful."

Wojtaszek said the literature, mailed to registered Republicans, Conservatives and Independence Party members, makes it look like State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-North Tonawanda, is endorsing Democrat Robert M. Restaino for the judgeship.

In fact, said Wojtaszek, Maziarz is the campaign chairman for Kathleen M. Wojtaszek-Gariano, the endorsed Republican candidate.

Restaino and county Democratic Chairman Nicholas J. Forster could not be reached to comment, despite repeated calls.

Wojtaszek-Gariano and Restaino are competing in primaries on seven different party lines, including Republican and Democratic. Unless one candidate sweeps all seven races in the primaries rescheduled for Sept. 25, they will square off again Nov. 6.

Both candidates are already City Court judges. The election is for a 10-year term in the full-time judgeship held by Wojtaszek-Gariano since she was appointed by Mayor Irene J. Elia to fill a vacancy created by the March retirement of John E. Mariano. Restaino has been a part-time judge since 1996 and is looking to move up to full-time.

The flier landed in Republicans' mailboxes last Monday, the day before the primary was originally scheduled. The election was postponed by Gov. George E. Pataki after Tuesday's terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

On the front of the mailer is a smiling photo of Restaino and Maziarz together. Below it is a quote attributed to Maziarz from a Niagara Gazette story: "There is not a tougher job out there in public life today than to be a judge."

On the other side is a headline, "That's Why Experience Matters!" s

Maziarz said the photo of him and Restaino is genuine, although he doesn't remember how old it is. "I'm absolutely certain I had no photo taken with him. I have my photo taken with everybody," Maziarz said. "The really egregious thing is the quotations."

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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