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Republican committee endorses candidates for 3 county positions

Christopher L. Jacobs moved from front-runner to endorsed Republican candidate for Erie County clerk Saturday, as the GOP leaders formally anointed their candidates for three county posts.

The Erie County Republican executive committee also endorsed two incumbents, County Executive Chris Collins and Family Court Judge Patricia A. Maxwell, following a brief meeting in Amherst.

Jacobs, a Buffalo School Board member, was one of three Republicans interested in the county clerk position now vacant after Kathleen C. Hochul won a special election for Congress.

County Legislator Lynne M. Dixon of Hamburg and Daniel J. Humiston, president of the Tanning Bed chain, withdrew their bids Friday after The Buffalo News reported that Jacobs likely would get the Republican nod.

"He's got a proven track record as a Republican candidate in the city, twice elected to the School Board," Erie County Republican Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy said, after a brief news conference Saturday morning outside the Sonoma Grille in Amherst.

Jacobs was asked about the countywide Democratic Party enrollment edge.

"You're always the underdog candidate with the enrollment," he replied. "I hope that people who know me, irrespective of party affiliation, will support me."

He said he also plans to seek the backing of both the Conservative and Independence parties.

Jacobs pointed to his interaction with the county clerk's office as president of Avalon Development Co. and to his experience as secretary of state, an office sharing similar administrative roles to those of the county clerk's office.

Earlier, Collins brushed off questions about his Democratic opponent, Mark C. Poloncarz, saying he plans to center his re-election campaign on one question about his administration's accomplishments.

"We will continue to run county government like a business, standing up for taxpayers," Collins said.

"Is Erie County better off after four years of the Collins administration? We believe the answer is yes."

e-mail: gwarner@buffnews.com