A judge who was widely considered to be a formidable candidate for the position of Erie County district attorney in next November’s elections has decided not to run for DA.
Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk told The Buffalo News late Tuesday that he reached his decision “after much reflection and discussion with my family and friends.”
“I have never been a declared candidate for district attorney, but after giving it a lot of thought, I decided I am happy with my life the way it is,” Franczyk said. “I have a life that is really good, one I really appreciate.”
His decision is expected to come as a surprise to political observers. In recent months, there has been speculation that Franczyk, who served as a top prosecutor in the DA’s office before becoming a judge, would run as a Democrat for the position vacated at the end of 2015 by Frank A. Sedita III, who was elected as a state judge with no opposition.
Franczyk’s decision is good news for the current acting DA, Michael Flaherty Jr., who just took over in an acting capacity as Sedita became a judge. Flaherty had served as Sedita’s top assistant.
Franczyk’s current 10-year judgeship ends at the end of 2017. He is widely expected to run again, but he declined to comment when asked by The News if he will run again.