Maziarz won’t seek re-election

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2014 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – State Sen. George Maziarz speaks during a legislative luncheon organized by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce in January. He is joined by County Legislator Don Allport, left, and State Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

George Maziarz, one of the most powerful state senators in Albany, won’t be seeking re-election. Maziarz called Republican Party leaders in his three-county district today to share the news he will decline the party’s nomination for another two-year term.

“It’s terrible news, terrible news,” said Ed Morgan, chairman of the Republican Party in Orleans County. “He’s been a great senator.”

Channel 4 in Buffalo first broke the news about Maziarz opting against re-election.

Morgan said Maziarz, who has represented the area in Albany since 1995, didn’t want the hectic schedule anymore.

“He’s very tired of the pace of going back and forth to Albany,” Morgan said. “He doesn’t have any health issues right now, but he doesn’t want to get any, either.”

Maziarz was first elected to the State Senate in 1995. His district includes all of Orleans County, most of Niagara and a western portion of Monroe County.

Channel 4 reports that Republican Party leaders are likely to endorse North Tonawanda Mayor Bob Ortt as the Republican nominee.

Morgan said a committee of five – himself, Bill Reilich from Monroe County, and three from Niagara – will soon meet to talk about a candidate. Niagara will have the majority of the votes so Morgan said he expects the candidate will likely come from that county.

Maziarz has handily won every election since 1995. A Republican challenger from two years ago, Johnny Destino of Niagara Falls, is switching to run as Democrat this election. Gia Arnold of Holley also filed a petition to run as a Republican.