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Election 2010: The ellicott district diverse or african-american?

August 31, 2010

Buffalo News reporter James Heaney story Monday about the Ellicott Council District Democratic Primary election though insightful left readers thinking  which of the three African-American candidates will win the race? Heaney called it a competition between Dr. Curtis  Haynes, Jr.,  and  Rev. Darius Pridgen.

He mentioned the Hispanic Alliance and Niagara Councilman David Rivera  as “notable supporters and contributors.”  He didn’t mention Nosotros, Chito Olivencia, or  Democratic Committeeman hopeful José Rodríguez  fund-raiser for Haynes,  a pig roast in July that drew a respectable crowd..

And, he didn’t mention any Latino supporters of  Rev. Darius G. Pridgen, pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church like Rev. Casimiro Rodriguez and others aligned with the Mayor Brown or the Western New York Hispanic Civic and Friends Association.  Also, Rev. Pridgen and  NYS Supreme Court hopeful City Court Judge Betty Calvo-Torres  and her husband Charlie Torres appeared in a photograph in  his  Ellicott District Campaign trail on Facebook.

He cited Fireman Bryon McIntyre, in his article as not soliciting any endorsements or contributions perhaps the reason Heaney called it  a competition between Haynes and Pridgen.

Yet Heaney cited Arthur O. Eve Jr.,  a Vice-President of the Erie County Democratic Party as one of the notables behind Dr. Haynes who presently holds the Ellicott District seat after  the Buffalo Common Council  in a controversial  election appointed him in January after Brian Davis had to step down. Davis  threw his support for Pridgen, giving him the edge when the committeemen voted, the reason the Mayor snubs him.

So the battle might just come down to as always money, political strength of one group over the other, the egos of Lenihan and Brown, as well as,  what candidates draws  more from the diverse electorate that makes up the Ellicott District, an advantage  of  the incumbent Councilman Haynes.

Also,  the battle in the Special Election in the Ellicott District  includes the Unity  Coalition headed by Eve, Jr.,  against Grassroots a  support group of Mayor Brown in the African-American community.  Then,  is it really Erie County Democratic Chairman Len Lenihan supporting the former and Mayor Brown the latter what’s at stake here? Who has more political muscle?

What makes this Special Election interesting is Haynes appears to have endorsements from a cross-section of the Ellicott District, including labor groups,  while Pridgen draws  his support mainly from the African-American community and  McIntyre pulling votes from a similar base. And  since it’s a Special Election the incumbent Haynes appears to have the advantage of  his race ( African-American) and endorsements.

Brian Davis trounced McIntyre in Buffalo Common Council Democratic Primary in 2007, and in the General Election, while Sen. Antoine  Thompson trounced the Coppola clan in the  60th Senate race in the Ellicott District in 2006.  Brown trounced Kearns in 2009 Mayoral race  in the Ellicott District as well, a trend more likely to continue in the Council race next year when all the seats are up for grabs.

Yet, it’s a special election in the Ellicott  District to fill the unexpired term of Brian Davis with three African-American men vying for the seat no white challengers in the Democratic Primary. Since they are all drawing from the same African-American base, Haynes  has the advantage of incumbency and  his ethnically diverse endorsements, including Stone Wall Democrats uneasy with statements Pridgen allegedly made about same-sex couples.

And Haynes has Nosotros and the support of the Hispanic Alliance a swing vote group, though it will be a tight race  in the next Common Council  race in 2011 where  Thompson, Davis  and  Brown had trounced their competitors in the Ellicott District most likely to happen again next year.

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