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Eagan bows out of race to lead Democrats

As the Erie County Republican Party re-elected its leader Saturday, one of the four contenders to head the county's Democrats pulled out of the race.

James J. Eagan of Orchard Park decided to end his candidacy for the Democratic chairmanship, outgoing Chairman Leonard R. Lenihan confirmed.

Eagan could not be reached to comment Saturday, but a statement reported by local television stations quoted him as saying, "I am deeply committed to other community activities and have decided to concentrate my efforts on the betterment of our region in my capacities as a board member of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and the SPCA Serving Erie County, as well as other community endeavors."

Eagan, executive vice president of Midwood Financial Services, donated $15,000 to County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz's campaign last year.

Lenihan said Eagan's decision leaves three contenders for the chairmanship, to be voted upon at a Democratic committee reorganizational meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday in Hearthstone Manor, Depew.

They are Jeremy J. Zellner, the county Legislature's chief of staff; Frank C. Max Jr., the Cheektowaga Democratic chairman; and Buffalo attorney Marc C. Panepinto.

Meanwhile, Nicholas A. Langworthy was re-elected chairman of the Erie County GOP at Saturday's Republican gathering in the Hearthstone.

Langworthy, a Buffalo resident, was chosen for his second full two-year term. He has been Republican chairman since May 2010.

Ralph M. Mohr of Lancaster, GOP elections commissioner since 1992, was chosen for another four-year term in that position.

Other Republican officers elected for two-year terms are: Carmen Vacco of Brant, first vice chairman; John Schmidt of Buffalo, second vice chairman; Donna McCartney-Henry of Buffalo, secretary; Debora Michaux of Grand Island, assistant secretary; Robin Sion of Concord, treasurer; and Mark Cuda of Hamburg, assistant treasurer.