March 8, 2011

Who's Next?

As many of you have heard, Niagara County Legislator Renae Kimble has decided not to seek re-election this year. After 18 faithful years serving the community, Kimble has announced that she will be relocating at the end of her current term. While we haven't always agreed with her, we applaud Kimble's passion for representing Niagara Falls and the minority community. Her shoes will certainly be hard to fill.

That being said, one is forced to wonder about the void that her departure leaves in what's left of the Niagara County Democratic Party. They already are shamed with having just four of the 19 county legislature seats, and the vacancy in the 2nd District will certainly throw that district into play. Coupled with the impending departure of 3rd District Legislator Jason Cafarella and the health of 1st District Legislator Rick Marasco, 2011 is shaping up to be a tough year for the county Dems.

Even more disconcerting to the Dems is that we are hearing that Minority Leader Dennis Virtuoso is giving strong consideration to not seeking re-election this year. The scenario we mentioned about a month ago is becoming more and more of a reality, and Virtuoso knows it. While he is never one to shy away from a fight, Virtuoso may not be up to the battle that lies ahead, especially when he knows that even if he wins, he quite possibly may be the last man standing for the Dems in the legislature. That is not an enviable position for anyone, no matter how tough he is.

There is no doubt that the departure of Kimble leaves a big hole in the party. Other than the most bitter woman in the world, former Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte, county Dems will miss Kimble's knowledge and experience. As crazy as it seems, the county Dems could be going into the upcoming election cycle with none of their current incumbents seeking re-election. That would be Dan Rivera's worst nightmare come true.

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