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Loughran sees path to Legislature victory without Conservative backing

County Legislature Minority Leader Thomas Loughran, D-Amherst, won re-election two years ago with the help of an endorsement by Erie County Conservative Party, whose votes gave him the critical edge  to defeat challenger Guy Marlette, a former Amherst Town Board member.

But Loughran was denied the county Conservative endorsement this year. Party Chairman Ralph Lorigo denied the endorsement to any legislator, Democrat or Republican, who voted in favor of County Executive Mark Poloncarz's financing deal with Erie County Medical Center.

When asked  about his path to re-election in light of the Conservative Party's endorsement of Marlette, Loughran said he believes Republicans who voted for him on the Conservative line two years ago are willing to stretch themselves to vote for him on the Democratic line.

He then spoke about his record of independence and said Conservative Chairman Ralph Lorigo, father of Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo, C-West Seneca, can't command his vote.

"I've stood up to a governor," he said. "I've stood up to a county executive. I can certainly stand up to Ralph Lorigo."

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