Peter Reese launches primary challenge for Erie County Executive

Local News

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) An industrial engineer and attorney from North Buffalo has launched an unexpected Democratic primary challenge against Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. 

“I have every right in the world to run for any office I want,” said Peter Reese, who submitted over two-thousand signatures last week and is now likely to be on the ballot June 25.

It was enough to make Poloncarz post a video on Twitter Monday night asking for campaign donations for this unexpected primary challenge. “Please send a message to these others that you support me by sending me a contribution in any size you can think of,” said Poloncarz in the video.

The County Executive says he’s not the only one who was surprised by the primary challenge. “I think what I’m hearing from the people in the Democratic party is ‘You have a primary? Why is someone running against you?”

But Reese says it should not come as a surprise. “My question is, what in the hell does he think he’s done in the past eight years that entitles him to run without any opposition.” Reese actually claims to have over a half million dollars available for this race. “I’ve got $100,000 more than he does. There’s more where that came from if it’s needed.”

When asked whether he intends to spend a half-million dollars on this race, Reese said, “Anything is possible. You know a lot of my friends like to say, ‘You know I don’t know when you’re being serious’, and my response to that is, I’m not sure either.”
 
For the next few weeks, Erie County Board of Elections will be counting signatures to verify whether at least 1,500 of the 2,140 signatures submitted by Reese are indeed registered Democratic voters in Erie County. If so, he will be on the ballot June 25 to run against Poloncarz.

”It’s disappointing because I think I’ve done a good job representing the values of the Democratic primary as well as this region,” said Poloncarz. “But you take what you’ve got to deal with. I’m moving ahead thinking we’re gonna have a primary in June.”

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