It appears the Republican Party will not field a candidate for mayor of Buffalo this year after all.
Ross Kostecky, who represented the GOP in the 2019 contest for city comptroller, has declined the nomination after party officials filed designating petitions on his behalf last week. City GOP Chairman Andrew Pace said Kostecky had temporarily stepped up to represent the party but that no serious candidate had materialized despite an extensive search.
"We just didn't have adequate time with Covid to interview enough candidates for mayor," Pace said. "Ross stepped forward and we felt comfortable with him, but candidates have the right to decline."
Republicans are outnumbered about 7 to 1 in heavily Democratic Buffalo, and no serious GOP candidate has emerged since current Democratic Mayor Byron W. Brown decisively defeated Kevin J. Helfer in 2005.
In another significant development, businessman Hormoz Mansouri said he was filing papers Monday to run in the June Democratic primary for county comptroller against the party's endorsed candidate, Legislator Kevin R. Hardwick.
Democratic Elections Commissioner Jeremy J. Zellner, who is also Erie County Democratic chairman, said objections have been filed to Mansouri's petitions, to those of Democratic sheriff candidates Kimberly L. Miller-Beaty and Myles L. Carter, and to those of Legislature candidates Dominique Calhoun and Samuel A. Herbert.
Zellner also reported Monday that Joshua Goldfine, a Greene County attorney entered as a "placeholder" sheriff candidate by the Working Families Party, did not qualify for the November ballot because of insufficient petition signatures. As a result, Zellner said there will be no Working Families candidate for sheriff on the November ballot.