The popular town Councilwoman Diane Benczkowski is officially in the race for Cheektowaga Supervisor, she announced Wednesday.
“I want to thank Supervisor Holtz for her 40 years of hard work and dedication to the Town of Cheektowaga, both as Supervisor and as our Town Clerk,” Benczkowski said, surrounded by three packed rooms of friends and supporters.
The “R Bar & Grill” — a Sloan mainstay known for its Dingus Day celebrations — was packed to the brim Wednesday night. Not only was the parking lot full, the overflow lot across the street was at capacity, and on-street parking could not be found for two blocks.
Benczkowski has served on the Cheektowaga Town Council for just over a year. Political observers from across the political spectrum have been impressed by her down-to-earth charm, energy, and can-do attitude have endeared her to her constituents.
Even those who disagree with her cost cutting focus on making the Town’s government more efficient concede that Benczkowski has “a dynamism that makes her a political force.” Most political observers say she is likely to win.
At the hasty behest of Supervisor Holtz and former Chairman Frank Max, town Clerk Alice Magierski was hurried into the Supervisor race. Max is a bitter rival who sees Benczkowski’s pro-taxpayer platform as an existential threat to his grip on the town’s patronage largess. It is thought that Max pushed Magierski into the race despite her hesitance.
Rumor has it that Magierski’s heart is not in it, and observers speculate that she may reconsider in the coming weeks. Both women are friends, but Benczkowski has a fundraising prowess and presence that Magierski lacks, say operatives.
“Diane and Alice are two of the very nicest people I know,” said County Legislator Patrick Burke.
Republican town chair Don Friedrich; Conservative town chair Joe Gallo; and the Independent Party’s Chauncy Stewart were all in attendance.