This year every seat on the Common Council is up for reelection to a four year term. Typically, Council races are low turnout and under the radar — but this year looks like there will be several competitive races.
North district school board member Jay McCarthy is expected to run for Common Council this year in the Delaware district. Councilman Michael LoCurto has not said whether he will run for reelection this year. He is a planner by training and there have been rumors that he is considering taking a position in the Poloncarz administration.
Should LoCurto choose not to run, operatives wonder whether former State Senator Alfred Coppola will enter the race. The longtime Councilman was reelected eight consecutive times to the Delaware district Council seat.
Others names that have been floated in political circles include Lisa Yeager, the attorney; and Dr. Wendy Mistretta, the education advocate.
Councilman Rasheed Wyatt was appointed to fill the vacancy left by the departure of Bonnie Russell. He had served as a longtime staffer to the Council.
Political operatives are speculating that Bernie Tolbert, the former director of the Buffalo field office of the FBI and a senior Executive with the NBA and Coca Cola, may consider the race. Tolbert ran for school board, but a very crowded race split an already low turnout vote.
Councilman David Rivera has angered West Side residents for his stances on the Peace Bridge expansion project, and dismissing the childhood asthma epidemic that has been linked to diesel carcinogens emanating from idling trucks at the customs plaza.
It is rumored that Bernice Radle, the high profile preservationist, and Ralph Hernandez, the former school board president, are considering the race.
Councilman David Franczyk has held his council seat since the 1970s, and oversaw the economic collapse of his neighborhood. He is responsible for an egregiously contorted redistricting that redrew the Fillmore district into Allentown in a shape that resembles an eagle.
It’s rumored that several individuals are considering the race, including Joe Ludwig, the Buffalo businessman; Joe Mascia, the housing commissioner; Tim Houges, the former County Legislator; GIzelle Stokes, the former school board candidate; and Sam Davis, the attorney.
The North district is represented by Joe Golombek, a popular Councilman, and no challengers have emerged to date.
The South district is represented by Christopher Scanlon. So far, the race has been quiet.
The Lovejoy district is represented by Richard Fontana, who is well liked among his constituents. A challenger has not emerged.
The Ellicott district is represented by Darius Pridgen. A challenger has not yet emerged.