The more things change, the more they stay the same. In what many thought would be a successful night for the Niagara County Democrats, the county GOP once again showed that they are one of the best political organizations in the state. Dan Rivera, Chairman of the county Dems, proved once again that he is utterly incompetent and incapable of playing with the big boys.
Across the county, the GOP was victorious. The GOP didn't lose a single seat that they thought might be in danger, while the Dems lost a slew of races that they thought they had in the bag. Briglio. Laible. Chapman. McCormick. Murphy. Rich. Zehr. Frazier. Pillot. D'Avolio. Czarnecki. Wallace. Schnitizer. All of them ran as Democrats, and all of them lost. And the list goes on.
Two of the more interesting outcomes are Murphy and Laible. Pat Murphy, running for County Clerk against Wayne Jagow, tried to capitalize on the Murphy name. It didn't work, as Murphy pulled just 37% of the countywide vote. The interesting take on this race is that Murphy took just one of 19 election districts in the City of Lockport, the supposed base of the Murphy political organization. The Murphy name clearly no longer carries any political weight whatsoever. Good ol' Matt's gotta be rolling over in his grave at that outcome.
The other one worth noting is Alicia Laible. The hand-picked candidate for Niagara Falls City Council by Mayor Paul Dyster, Laible lost to Glenn Choolokian. Make no mistake about it - that is a huge blow to Dyster. Dyster may have won his re-election, but losing Laible will significantly hurt Dyster. He already made enemies with Bob Anderson and Sam Fruscione, now he loses his majority on the Council. In addition, Dyster's 700 vote win is hardly a ringing endorsement of his tenure over the past four years.
In the end, the GOP is left with a 12-3 super majority in the county legislature and the county Democrats are once again rendered irrelevant. The GOP turned what was expected to be a good night into a phenomenal night. Dan Rivera is the gift that keeps on giving and should be recognized at the next GOP banquet as the "Republican of the Year".