Republicans celebrate wresting control of Erie Co. Legislature for first time in 35 years
BUFFALO, NY - For the first time in nearly two generations, Republicans will be in the majority for the Erie County Legislature, by virtue of victories in the elections held Tuesday.
Besides marking the first time in 35 years that Republicans will hold sway in the county legislature, it also will be the first time in his three years as Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz will have to work with a body of lawmakers, not controlled by his own party
The current Minority Leader, John Mills (R-11th District), tells Two On Your Side that he will become the new Legislature Chairperson in January. "You can take that presumption to the bank," Mills said.
However, Mills says Erie County residents should not worry about legislative logjams because the legislative branch and the executive branch will be under the control of opposing parties in 2014.
"This is not going to be a combative situation'" said Mills. "This is going to be more of getting along together...this will be a poster child (of governance) for the rest of the state."
"Everyone wants to do the people's business," said Poloncarz Press Secretary Peter Anderson. "The County Executive has worked with Republicans in the past. He meets regularly with members of the minority caucus who will soon be the majority caucus, and I'm sure he'll continue to do that," Anderson said.
Mills also says it is likely that either Legislator Joe Lorigo (R-10th District) or Edward Rath (R-6th District) will assume the role of Majority Leader in the County Legislature after the first of the year.
Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Scott May. Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2