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Dyster heads slate of endorsements by Niagara Falls Democratic Committee

NIAGARA FALLS – The city Democratic Committee has endorsed two-term Mayor Paul A. Dyster for re-election this fall.

Two candidates for City Council – including former committee Chairwoman Alicia M. Laible – also gained the committee’s endorsement.

The other endorsement for a Council seat is Ezra P. Scott Jr., who announced his campaign Wednesday morning.

The committee endorsed Chief Judge Mark A. Violante and Falls attorney Danielle M. Restaino for the two judgeships. Attorney David G. Boniello has also declared his candidacy for the judicial post.

The committee considered each candidate who sought out an endorsement, according to chairman Gordy Stewart III.

“The Democratic candidates who chose to contact the Democratic Party for endorsement were given a fair shake,” Stewart said in a statement. “There are several candidates who claim to be Democrats but never contacted myself or any member of the party. Their strategy is ill-conceived – our party is stronger, more inclusive and definitely more unified than ever before.”

The self-identifying Democrats running for mayor and Council who did not receive the endorsements said they don’t feel at a disadvantage without the committee’s backing.

“I was hoping that they would come forward and be honest with themselves because I’m going to win, anyway,” said Councilman Robert A. Anderson Jr., who is finishing his third term on the Council.

Anderson said he figured that the Democratic Committee would reach out to him about a potential endorsement.

Rick D. Smith, the city Planning Board chairman who also is running for Council, is a former Democratic Committee member but didn’t seek its endorsement.

“You can get by without their endorsement,” Smith said.

Glenn A. Choolokian, incumbent councilman making a bid for mayor, also said he did not seek out the committee’s endorsement. Choolokian, who was endorsed by the city Republicans in his Council bid four years ago, said that with a two-term incumbent running, he did not expect the nod in the mayor’s race this year.

Two Republicans have announced for Council – Willie A. Price and Kenny M. Tompkins – while two other Republicans have announced they’re running for mayor – John G. Accardo and James J. Szwedo.