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Keane kicks off early general election campaign

The Democratic primary for county executive is still a week away, but Democrat Jim Keane is already eyeing Republican Chris Collins.

After shooting at him during a weekend radio debate, Keane kicked off a new ad today linking Collins to President Bush and Vice President Cheney -- not exactly heading the popularity parade in Democratic Erie County.

The move is certainly not unexpected. Whomever wins the Democratic primary will work hard to emphasize their Democratic label and try to link Collins to the GOP -- faltering now on the national, state and local levels.

What is surprising is that Keane has launched the effort already, with a whole lot of primary campaigning to go.

Still, it was enough for Collins to issue one of his first press releases.

"His latest ad is a desperate attempt from a candidate who has nothing to say about the substantial issues facing Erie County like rebuilding our economy and reforming county government," Collins said.

"Instead, Keane wants to hide the fact that he wants to rely on the same tired solutions to the problems that have plagued our community for decades."

Watch for this theme to dominate the general election campaign.
-- Robert J. McCarthy

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