The days just after an election rank as busy as those just before. Here are a few developments and questions stemming from the historic election of Nov. 8:
• After Republican Chris Jacobs’ Senate victory, Democrats are hoping for a gubernatorial appointment to fill the resulting vacancy of county clerk. Democratic names mentioned for the post include County Legislators Peter Savage, Pat Burke and Tom Loughran.
• Republicans, after Jacobs won the spot twice, will counter with their own candidate in November.
• Following the retirement of U.S. Attorney Bill Hochul, a Republican administration will now fill the vacancy. The new President Donald Trump will consider candidates in the coming year (some influential local Republicans are pushing Lancaster Town Justice Jeremy Colby), as well as for the U.S. marshal based in Rochester.
Concerns also surround Kathleen Sweet, the former Erie County Bar Association president nominated in March to the Buffalo federal bench by President Obama. It is yet to be determined whether Trump will continue with the Obama nomination or whether the Republican Senate will confirm her.
• One major piece of speculation swirling around Mayor Byron Brown – a possible Washington assignment – ended with Hillary Clinton’s defeat. The talk was just that – talk. But that avenue is now closed, and any future political role for Brown for the moment appears limited to seeking a fourth term as mayor.
• If Brown matches Jim Griffin as the only Buffalo mayor to win four terms, he may do it without his longtime allies in the Conservative Party. Though Brown always proudly sported the Conservative line, Chairman Ralph Lorigo says that “will be difficult” in next year’s mayoral contest. Lorigo said the new state Democratic chairman has always been at home with Conservatives, even failing to join other New York mayors in supporting the SAFE Act. “Now he supports Andrew Cuomo, Hillary Clinton and those policies,” he said.
• Lorigo again earned bragging rights when his party provided the winning margin for Republican Supreme Court candidates Mary Slisz and Dan Furlong.
“We almost doubled our 10-year average,” he said, also crediting the mayor for turning out the city vote for Clinton.
“If not for Byron Brown, they would not have won Erie County for Clinton,” he said.
• The University at Buffalo’s Jim Campbell enhanced his lofty status in national political science circles by again correctly predicting the popular presidential vote. The professor’s formulas that nail vote percentages basically worked again.
“The most up-to-date count of Hillary Clinton’s national two-party popular vote has her at 50.4 percent to Donald Trump’s 49.6 percent,” he said. “My Convention Bump model predicted she would receive 51.2 percent [0.8 points off] and my Labor Day model predicted 50.7 percent [0.3 points off].”
• Democrats and Republicans combined dropped more than $1.1 million on the 145th Assembly contest between Democrat John Ceretto and Republican Angelo Molinaro. All this on a race that came nowhere near altering the overwhelming Democratic majority in the Assembly.
Perhaps the message to any other Republican-turned-Democrat – like Ceretto – is “don’t change parties … or else.”
• Monica Wallace, newly elected to the Assembly from Cheektowaga and Lancaster, may be looking over her shoulder for the next two years. The district that in the past always elected those with conservative views and Conservative Party backing cast 45 percent of its votes for Republican Russell Sugg. He spent virtually nothing on the race.
• Quote of the Week comes from veteran Buffalo pollster Frank Levin, who says concerns about this year’s presidential polling should center on whether questions elicit an honest answer.
“Behavior has meaning and the design of questions should help to understand the behavior of the respondent,” he says. “Is he or she being honest in their response?”