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Bullman, Ubriaco only applicants so far to fill vacancy on Legislature

NIAGARA FALLS -- Two lifelong Cataract City residents who haven't had the best of luck at the polls are the only applicants so far for the Niagara County Legislature seat being vacated by Jason J. Cafarella.

Kari Ann Bullman, of 60th Street, and Randal S. Ubriaco, of 15th Street, both registered Democrats, have sent in resumes seeking interviews by a three-member search committee.

The Legislature is expected to make an appointment at its April 5 meeting after receiving a recommendation from the search committee. It will interview the applicants March 31.

Chairman William L. Ross, C-Wheatfield, said that other aspirants have until Friday to postmark resumes to the Legislature clerk's office in the County Courthouse, 175 Hawley St., Lockport 14094-2740.

Cafarella is resigning, effective March 31, because he's moving out of his district to a home he recently bought elsewhere in the Falls.

Cafarella is a Democrat, but the Legislature is free to appoint a member of any political party to replace him for the rest of this year.

The search committee comprises Ross, Cafarella and Majority Leader Richard E. Updegrove, R-Lockport.

The appointee will have to decide whether to run for a full term this fall in the face of Legislature redistricting and downsizing that will reduce the number of legislators from Niagara Falls by at least one.

Ubriaco, who was a Republican at the time, ran unsuccessfully against Cafarella in 2007. Bullman lost last May in a bid for the Niagara Falls Board of Education.

For the last four months, Bullman has been working for lead owner Paul A. Grenga as administrative director and legal assistant at One Niagara, the company that owns the nine-story "flashcube" building in downtown Niagara Falls.

Before that, she worked for eight years for attorney John P. Bartolomei at L.B. Madison Fine Arts, an artists agency.

Ubriaco, 51, sold insurance and financial services for more than 20 years before joining city government four years ago. He worked at the city parking ramp before transferring to the Inspections Department. He is now landlord licensing clerk.

He also serves on the Tourism Advisory Board and the Planning Board.

Ubriaco changed his affiliation to Democratic after the 2007 race, but he confessed, "I'm really more of an independent." He said he remained in Niagara Falls even after his parents and all six of his siblings moved to Las Vegas.

"I'm more committed to taking care of the city," he said.

Bullman, 35, said she could have moved when she was studying fashion technology but instead stayed and bought a house. "I plan to raise a family here and retire here," she said. "I want to see the community I'm going to spend the rest of my life in prosper."

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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