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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert McCarthy joined The Buffalo News in 1982 and has been political reporter since 1992. A native of Schenectady, he graduated from St. Bonaventure University.


Local News

The Democratic primary challenge of attorney Peter A. Reese to County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz remains alive today – if just barely. Reese said Wednesday he will appeal the decision of State Supreme Court Justice Christopher L. Burns earlier in the week upholding an Erie County Board of Elections order that ruled him off the ballot. Burns said he agreed with the boar…

Local News

Construction vehicles and hard-hatted workers in yellow vests are beginning to swarm Buffalo Niagara International Airport. And that’s the way it’s going to be until at least the end of 2020. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority officially breaks ground May 9 for its $80 million face-lift of upstate New York’s busiest air facility. However, payloaders and ja…

Columns

For the first time in anyone’s memory, a real live donnybrook is brewing for leadership of the New York State Republican Party. Yeah – the staid and solid GOP – the party of Nelson Rockefeller and George Pataki that won seven elections for governor. And the party that ruled the State Senate for just about forever. But now the New York Republican Party is teetering on…

Business

For generations, throngs of tourists sailing the Maid of the Mist fleet beneath Niagara Falls have experienced the roar of the cataract, the splash of the river – and the fog of diesel fumes. Scratch the diesel fumes from future Maid of the Mist vessels following the venerable tour company’s Friday announcement that it will launch North America’s first all-electric pass…

Erie County

Just two weeks after a key municipal union endorsed his opponent for county executive, incumbent Democrat Mark C. Poloncarz is countering with backing from the area’s premier labor organization. The Western New York Area Labor Federation, which represents 140,000 workers among 145 local unions in Western New York, will announce its support Tuesday for Poloncarz against …

Business

Former State Sen. George Maziarz, once a kingpin in Niagara County politics, has been making a range of allegations about former allies and about the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., where many of those former allies have landed. Now, the FBI has begun an inquiry into the OTB and some of the contracts it has issued to well-connected businessmen, two sources wit…

Buffalo

Later this year, Barbara Miller-Williams can officially remove the “interim” label from her title as Buffalo comptroller following the withdrawal of her potential primary opponent. Vanessa Glushefski, who had been circulating designating petitions and loomed as Miller-Williams’ only obstacle in this year’s comptroller election, has ended her candidacy after failing to c…

Erie County

When local candidates file campaign finance reports with the Board of Elections on May 24, it’s a sure bet Lynne M. Dixon’s will gain lots of attention. Following a major fundraiser and a flurry of behind-the-scenes activity, those studying the county executive candidate’s report will zero in on the summary page required by state election law. It will reflect just how w…

Sometimes after a long day at the Paragraph Factory, it seems only natural to head around the corner for a sample of the elixirs concocted by the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery. A crisp and frosty Lake Effect Pale Ale comes to mind as the Politics Column is penned late on a Thursday (but we’ll hold that thought and proceed with the task at hand). Still, it remains more …

Buffalo

The future of Democrat Vanessa Glushefski’s campaign for Buffalo comptroller remained unclear Thursday after Erie County elections commissioners allowed her more time to validate disputed signatures on her designating petitions. Derek Murphy, a Board of Elections spokesman, said Glushefski will likely return early next week with affidavits her attorney says will prove t…

Local News

Attorney Peter A. Reese chose a Franklin D. Roosevelt monument in Martin Luther King Park Tuesday to declare his candidacy for county executive and a recommitment to Democratic Party principles. But Reese, 74, then had to scurry to a downtown Board of Elections hearing later in the afternoon for a hearing to judge the validity of his designating petitions and whether he…

Erie County

Democrat Peter A. Reese is slated to announce his primary challenge to County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz on Tuesday, but Board of Elections officials says he may not even qualify for the ballot. Democratic Elections Commissioner Jeremy J. Zellner and his Republican counterpart, Ralph M. Mohr, said Monday they believe the Buffalo attorney will fall more than 200 signatu…

Local News

When candidates for City of Buffalo offices filed designating petitions at the Board of Elections earlier this month, veteran political observers could only scratch their heads. An entire slate of Republicans — missing in action for years in heavily Democratic Buffalo — signed up to run. After surrendering to the Democrats’ overwhelming numbers a decade ago and running …

Columns

Charlie Joyce finds his way out of Wellsville every once in a while – even all the way to Crosby, Tx. That’s where the oil and gas supply executive and major GOP donor turned up a few days ago, right next to President Trump, who likewise found his way out of Washington to sign an executive order easing regulations on energy pipelines. And when Fox News reported the even…

Local News

Democrats from the Erie County Legislature’s District 1 will convene Monday to choose a successor for Barbara Miller-Williams, the veteran Democratic legislator who has resigned to become interim Buffalo comptroller. Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner said Committee on Vacancy members will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the New Covenant United Church of Chri…