Former East Aurora Mayor David J. DiPietro said Wednesday he is seeking a rematch against incumbent Dale M. Volker in the Republican primary for a State Senate seat, setting up the possibility of a four-way contest in September.
DiPietro cited his 2008 victory over Volker in the Erie County portion of the 59th District as the incentive for his new effort, and believes he can win over enough voters in the outlying counties of Wyoming, Livingston and Ontario.
"I'm champing at the bit to get back at this guy," DiPietro said Wednesday.
DiPietro joins Volker and political activist Leonard A. Roberto, who have announced their candidacies. Erie County Republican Chairman James P. Domagalski also has expressed interest and recently held a fundraiser for the first time in his career. He is expected to decide whether to enter the race before the end of May.
DiPietro, 49, found himself mired in a controversial race against Volker in the last election when he alleged that Domagalski warned him that Volker's people would "come after him" if he went through with the challenge. He still says Domagalski was "part and parcel" of efforts to intimidate him out of the 2008 race.
Domagalski has denied the accusations.
DiPietro served as mayor of East Aurora from 2002 to 2008, when he lost to Clark W. Crook. Since then, he has been heavily involved in the "tea party" movement and, along with fellow activist Rus Thompson of Grand Island, helped persuade Buffalo developer Carl P. Paladino to run for governor as a Republican this year.
The candidate said he has been urged by many town chairmen to challenge Volker again. He also said that while he is seeking the party endorsement, he is committed to run in the primary.
"I'll have Carl Paladino with me, and I'll run," he said.
DiPietro has recently hosted the program "Buffalo Uncensored" on WECK Radio.