Buffalo, NY - A politician from the past is re-surfacing in hopes of re-gaining the New York State Senate seat he held very briefly in 2000.
Alfred Coppola, who served as the Delaware District Buffalo Common Council member in the 1980's and 90's, says he will attempt to force a Democratic primary for the State Senate seat currently held by Antoine Thompson.
Coppola seems undaunted by recent history which shows incumbent state lawmakers have a better than 9 in 10 chance of being re-elected. He is also undeterred by having been defeated three times for the State Senate seat he will try and hold again.
Coppola last held office a decade ago, when he won a March, 2000 special election to succeed Anthony Nanula in the State Senate, when Nanula left to become Comptroller of the City of Buffalo.
Six months later, Coppola was defeated by Byron Brown.
When Brown left to seek election as Mayor of Buffalo, he was succeeded by Thompson, who Coppola is setting his sights on now.
Coppola, currently Vice President of the Energy Cooperative, says Thompson has much to answer for after voting to approve a budget last year that hike fees and taxes on utilities.
"I think there's a real anti-incumbency feeling out there in the public eye and I'm going to take advantage of that and to show them how he (Thompson) supported higher costs for energy in Buffalo," Coppola said.
Asked what the biggest difference is between the Albany of now and a decade ago, Coppola said, "The biggest thing I see is more corruption than ever before. You're looking at criminal investigations of some of the State Senators up there now, ...there was a Senator ousted for dragging his girlfriend through a lobby and my opponent supported him. I mean, what kind of nonsense is that?"
Asked what steps he would pursue to solve new York's budget woes, Coppola told 2 On Your Side's Dave McKinley, "I'd start with a 10% pay cut for every elected official to show some leadership, ...and lay off some of their staff. That would show leadership in Albany. Someone has to start somewhere, and you have to put a freeze on spending for the next two years."
Many of those who turned out at First Amendment Club on Bridgeman Street Monday night to support Coppola were supporters of his in prior campaigns, some dating back more than 20 years.
Though Coppola ran several times as a Republican in the past, he says he remains an enrolled Democrat.