After heavy pressure from top Erie County Democrats, Common Council staffer Clayton Hoyt said Friday that he will not seek the County Legislature seat soon to be vacated by Democrat Betty Jean Grant.
“I have decided not to throw my hat in the ring this year,” he said. “I do expect to run in the near future, but at this time, I have decided to back the endorsed Democratic candidate for the seat, April Baskin.”
Hoyt, son of former Assemblyman Sam Hoyt and grandson of the late Assemblyman William B. Hoyt, sparked controversy earlier in the week when he said he was seriously considering the candidacy.
Erie County Democratic Chariman Jeremy J. Zellner voiced the loudest concerns because he views the Second District as traditionally African-American and Hoyt is white.
“I’ve got to believe that Sam Hoyt and anyone associated with him would not upset that apple cart,” Zellner said Monday. “It’s important to us that the seat remain African-American.”
Other candidates include former At-Large Council Member Charley H. Fisher III and Duncan Kirkwood, Western New York advocacy manager for the Northeast Charter Schools Network.