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Fundraiser likely to net $200,000 for unopposed Surrogate's candidate

The most successful fundraiser in local judicial history could be shaping up Thursday for Acea M. Mosey, candidate for Erie County surrogate court.

Mosey has Democratic and Republican backing and so far faces no known opponent.

But more than 500 people are expected to attend the event slated for Kleinhans Music Hall Thursday to support her effort. And though there is no ticket price – attendees give what they want – the event is expected to raise more than $200,000, according to Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner.

“It’s probably going to be the biggest judicial fundraiser ever, and that’s outstanding,” he said.

The surrogate judge traditionally has been one of the most coveted judicial positions because of its vast powers in assigning cases to attorneys. Surrogate’s Court handles the affairs of the deceased, including probate of wills, administration of estates and trust proceedings, guardianships and adoptions.

Mosey, a Democrat, was unavailable for comment, but as the public administrator in Erie County Surrogate’s Court, she has been viewed as the undisputed front-runner following more than a year of networking for the judicial post.

Zellner and Erie County Republican Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy have said their organizations will back the Buffalo attorney, as has Conservative Chairman Ralph C. Lorigo.

“There is no one better suited to succeed Barbara Howe and the work she has done over the past 20 years than Acea Mosey,” Langworthy said last month.

Current Surrogate Court Judge Barbara Howe is slated to retire from the bench this year.

Zellner said Mosey’s massive fundraiser stems from political necessity and the candidate’s caution against any other opponent entering the race.

“You always have to run like you’re being challenged,” he said. “Now we see this huge event with such an outpouring of support. She’s in an incredibly strong position.”

Judicial candidates are required to return unspent campaign funds following election, but it remains to be seen how Mosey will spend her proceeds in support of other candidates – or whether she will at all.

State campaign finance records indicate Mosey already has more than $215,000 in her treasury, including her personal loans totaling $150,000.

Mosey, 50, has held the key administrator’s post under Howe since 2005.


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