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Tolbert campaign gets $20,000 boost from Williamsville developer

Political money continues to flow into Erie County races, with Democrat Bernard A. Tolbert's campaign for sheriff getting $20,000 from a group of corporations owned by a Williamsville developer.

Tolbert's campaign on Thursday reported receiving $2,000 from each of 10 corporations owned by developer Michael L. Joseph, who also has been a hefty contributor in recent years to Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

The Joseph contributions are included in daily campaign reports candidates are required to file with the New York State Board of Elections in the last weeks leading up to next week's election. Only contributions or loans of $1,000 or more are reported.

No other Erie County candidates for countywide office reported receiving such funds in the past two days.

The Buffalo News reported Wednesday that the Erie County Democratic Party and its leaders in recent weeks poured almost $125,000 into the campaign of Steven J. Cichon, the Democrat's candidate for Erie County clerk. The Democratic leadership also gave $25,000 to Tolbert's campaign.

The funds are helping the Democrats finance television ads at a time when their Republican opponents are also campaigning via television commercials, campaign spending reports show.

Some Democrats say the hefty contributions could indicate Democratic leaders believe the races are tightening up, but Republican leaders say the Democrats are wasting their money.

Tolbert is running against Sheriff Timothy B. Howard, a Republican incumbent who has raised almost $300,000 this campaign season.

Cichon is running for county clerk against Asssemblyman Michael P. Kearns, a Democrat running on the Republican line.

The other countywide race is for comptroller, with Republican incumbent Stefan I. Mychajliw being challenged by Democrat Vanessa Glushefski.







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