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Hillary Clinton plans major fundraiser Nov. 10 in Buffalo

Hillary Rodham Clinton will bring her presidential campaign to Buffalo Nov. 10 for a major fundraiser coordinated by the Erie County Democratic Committee.

Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner said Thursday that since Clinton’s official entry into the race, his organization has pushed for an event in Buffalo, which he said she considers friendly turf since her days as first lady and later as New York’s junior senator.

The time and place have not yet been determined, he said, but the event will involve every aspect of the region’s Democratic leadership and officeholders.

“We just continued to work with her finance folks on this,” he said. “Now we’re going to get her.”

The event is expected to raise “six figures” for Clinton’s national campaign, he said, adding that no real estimate of the proceeds will be available until plans and donors become clearer. And Zellner noted that his organization has been committed to her candidacy from the start, as is virtually all of the rest of New York State’s Democratic establishment led by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Clinton is no stranger to Western New York, beginning with 1992 campaign appearances with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, at the Chautauqua Institution and Canisius College. In 1999, she appeared in then-Marine Midland Arena following her husband’s impeachment. Organizers said at that time that Buffalo was chosen as a solid Democratic city to reflect support for the embattled president, and party and labor organizations filled the arena with supporters.

Then came her “listening tour” later in 1999 as she toured the state in anticipation of running for the Senate seat of the retiring Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 2000 – which she won handily.

A key event of that campaign also occurred in Buffalo when she participated in a televised debate against then-Rep. Rick A. Lazio, which many observers scored in her favor.

She frequently visited the area as senator, and last appeared in Buffalo for a 2013 speech at the University at Buffalo after leaving the Obama administration as secretary of state.

Clinton has maintained her New York State ties with a home in Westchester County and has established her national campaign headquarters in Brooklyn.

Zellner said his visit along with former Erie County Democratic Chairman Leonard R. Lenihan to the Brooklyn headquarters last spring helped solidify plans for the Buffalo event.

“They know this community very well from our trip in May,” he said of the Clinton finance team. “We will do everything we can to help her.”

The former secretary of state leads all polls of Democratic primary voters and is generally acknowledged as the front-runner for the presidential nomination, especially after Vice President Biden this week opted not to join the race.