WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will return home Wednesday to host a private fundraiser in West Seneca. The event, scheduled to take place at Fontana’s Grove, was relocated to accommodate the massive crowd, Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner said. It was initially expected to take place at Resurgence Brewing Company in Buffalo’s First Ward.
Zellner added the event is expected to attract people from all across the state, including New York City.
Interest in the event has increased since last week, when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his intent to resign. Hochul will take his place on August 24. Zellner said the event had been approaching capacity even before Cuomo said he would step down.
Len Lenihan, a fixture in Western New York Democratic politics for decades, expects the event to represent a celebration of Hochul’s career.
“In my 50 years of local politics, this is the biggest event that I will be attending,” Lenihan said. “Yes, it will be a large event, but what I mean is the excitement, the pride, the exhilaration that people feel that one of their own, who they’ve known and worked with, has risen to the highest office in the State of New York.”
Hochul, a Hamburg native, has already announced her intention to run for a full term in 2022. According to a campaign finance report filed this past weekend, she has about $1.75 million available to spend.
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.