Fallout from Tuesday's debacle of a primary continues for the Niagara County Democratic Party. Chairman Dan Rivera is under serious scrutiny for his handling of the campaign of State Senate hopeful Brian Grear, as well as the implications of that race on the run for Sheriff by Democrat Jim Voutour.
Democrats are incensed that Rivera used $10,000 of the county party's money to fund a last minute TV ad campaign for Grear without going through proper administrative channels, including not getting the approval for the expenditure from the party's executive committee, a requirement in their by-laws. Some party officials are so infuriated with Rivera over this expenditure without approval that they are considering a lawsuit against Rivera personally to recoup the $10,000.
The Voutour camp is concerned that the negative ads that Grear ran against Maziarz, helping Maziarz to a massive 81% of the primary vote, will negatively impact his race in the General Election. Since there are so few races in the county this year, the Voutour camp perceives Grear to be Voutour's running mate in this year's election. Voutour is concerned that Grear will be a huge albatross around his neck in his race against GOP candidate Ernest Palmer.
Palmer, on the other hand, has Maziarz as his running mate this year. Palmer is said to feel good about running alongside a candidate that pulled 81% of the vote. This scenario, many Dems believe, has cast a long shadow over Voutour's campaign.
In addition, Democrats internally are expressing their deep concern with the process of endorsing a coroner to replace recently retired coroner Jim Joyce, who resigned recently after questions were raised related to his involvement with a chain of local massage parlors that were fronts for an international prostitution ring.
The interview committee to select Joyce's replacement included Joyce himself. The committee ultimately chose the wife of Joyce as their candidate for the position, leading many Democrats to assert that this is just another of the many "black eyes" that have been perpetuated under the leadership of Rivera.
With the Niagara County Democratic Committee scheduled to reorganize within the next two weeks, Rivera is said to face a serious internal challenge for the Chairmanship.
That being said, Republicans are hoping that Rivera maintains leadership of the local committee. One can certainly understand why.