Benczkowski announces run for Cheektowaga Supervisor

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.

Benczkowski with her husband.
Benczkowski with her husband.
The Buffalo Niagara Realtors Association is actively backing Benczkowski. They bring a strong network of relationships to the campaign.
The Buffalo Niagara Realtors Association is actively backing Benczkowski. They bring a strong network of relationships to the campaign.
County Legislator Ted Morton.
County Legislator Ted Morton.
Benczkowski with Erie County's Deputy Sheriff Joseph Gallo.
Benczkowski with Joseph Gallo, the Conservative Party Chairman of Cheektowaga.
Erie County Democratic Party official Mary Jullian.
Erie County Democratic Party official Mary Jullian.
County Legislator Patrick Burke with supporters.
County Legislator Patrick Burke with supporters.
Kenny Young, a longtime party activist who will be running for Cheektowaga Town Council this year.
Kenny Young, a longtime party activist who will be running for Cheektowaga Town Council this year.
James Bargnesi, candidate for judge, speaking with Eric Weyant, a prominent Democrat.
James Bargnesi, candidate for judge, speaking with Eric Weyant, a prominent Democrat.
Friends and supporters.
Friends and supporters.


  1. The photos are wonderful. Nice pic of Camille, and Mary Jullian, too! Interesting to see Morton there – such a pol at this event sends all sorts of messages. Still, he does not have my vote, too political and hooked right into the downtown GOP political scene. These are the types of event photos that are great to glance at and they sure capture the event for people who did not attend. And this is the type of reporting that has been lacking on the other sites. Glad to see the Buffalo Chronicle stepping up, again, and bringing readers right into the event, from our computers. This site gets better with each passing week! Thanks!!!

  2. Dear Matthew – I was greatly disappointed to read this article and find out that it was authored and sponsored by a fellow Cornell alumnus (my academic credentials – Cornell Engineering 1993 and Harvard MBA 1997). A Cornell alumnus can certainly do better than you have here. For the record, I am also the son of Alice Magierski and I’m sure her campaign will have their own perspective on your content here.

    Your article reads both as a blatant advertisement for Ms. Benczkowski’s campaign and a direct and blatant smear attack on Ms. Magierski. It is certainly your own perspective as to whether you want your blog to be considered as a credible independent voice if you demonstrate clear bias toward a candidate with very little critical analysis.

    However, where I think you cross the line entirely is in the smear attack. Your statements speculating as to Ms. Magierski’s motivation for her campaign, speculating as to who is influencing her to join, speculating as to who is the “favorite to win”, and speculating as to her fund raising capacity all appear unfounded and unsubstantiated. Each references some anonymous source that purports to have credibility yet is nameless. If you really have this information, then substantiate it with sources and fact. If not, then take the ethical high road unless you can demonstrate it as fact. This type of publishing can only appear to be sponsored or just biased, and certainly not a respected, researched independent point of view. Moreover, it does the Town of Cheektowaga a disservice to have an open and transparent campaign for this important position.

    I can assure you that Ms. Magierski, my mother, made an independent decision, consulting extensively with family and friends (who can be named), without coercion and certainly not as a result of any hasty behests from others. Her heart is indeed in this campaign. She has plenty of support, financial and otherwise. She has an extremely strong independent track record serving the Town over many years as councilwoman, Town Clerk, and in other roles, that has and will continue to be demonstrated and promoted going forward, and which with factual reporting will be difficult to refute.

    • For the life of me, I just don’t see how your Mom has distinguished herself over her tenure in order to wrestle this train wreck that is the Cheektowaga Town Board and Town administration; especially as pretty much everyone knows, Ms. Magierski is politically aligned with the Frank Max crowd, and her candidacy appears to be an attempt, albeit in a ‘hail Mary sense’ and improbable, to maintain some semblance of control by the Max faction.

      History, of course, is evolutionary and constantly changing. As such, the Magierski candidacy and to a greater extent the Max people seem to have put blinders on to all that is happening around them. The Town is changing. New people are jumping into Town politics. Almost unheard of and most definitely a result of Max, Republicans are making their mark once again in Town. And for Magierski and the rest of the Max folks, they are clearly seen as part of the problem – too many shady dealings over far too many years.

      Personally, I thought that Magierski would have a difficult time winning re-election had she had a hard-charging opponent for town clerk, and not that she has not done a decent job, either. It’s just that all the baggage of Max and Co. could easily affect Magierski’s chances. I don’t think she has a prayer running for supervisor. She just can’t hide the Max stench that lingers and turns residents’ stomachs.

      You just need to look at the past few cycles, and the fact that anytime Max was used as a weapon against any of his candidates in the Democratic primary, the Max candidate got TROUNCED. Not just defeated, but trounced.

      Magierski should wise up and play it safe, run for re-election, and distance herself from the Max Train Wreck if she has any chance to continue in Cheektowaga public service.

      • Hi Jacob. Ms. Magierski’s campaign will have plenty of time to factually highlight her track record, what she has accomplished, her platform for supervisor, and why she is running and not ‘playing it safe’. Mom has been serving the town for as long as I can remember in various capacities which makes that nearly 40 years. I appreciate you recognizing her time as Town Clerk.

        My purpose in jumping in on this piece in particular was solely to respond to what I see as a completely unveiled attempt to attack and define in an apparent negative way her and her campaign in not only a baseless and unfair way, but an unethical one.

        Any content that purports to be trustworthy, honest, unbiased, or even at a minimum informative should not speculate or use innuendo.

        “It is thought that Max pushed her into the race.” Really? By whom? “Magierski was hurried into the race” and “at the hasty behest of X”. Again, based on what evidence? Some of these people may indeed want her to run, but it does not by defacto make that the reason why she is running.

        The list goes on … “Rumors have it …”, “…observers say … “, “… say operatives …”. Using terms like this an article cannot be taken seriously.

        To use that level of speculation and innuendo can only make this a political attack and an attempt to paint the candidate with perceived negative messages with zero substance whatsoever.

      • Brian, why hasn’t your Mom stated clearly that she is not associated in any way with Frank Max and his team? I know for a fact that Andrew is not making any of this up. It’s been out there for many years.

      • Jacob – I don’t speak for her campaign. These two women just announced recently. Both will likely be judged by voters on their track record and plan for the future which we will have plenty of time to explore.

  3. Reading the article above, it seems like the writer spent a lot of time at the event by taking the pictures and getting quotes from several people who attended the party. Looks like he also consulted with political observers who may or may not have been at the event. Mr. Magierski sounds like sour grapes and is radiating an arrogance boasting about his academic credentials as if his word has more merit than anybody elses. A lot of people like this website because the writer gives a perspective that no newspaper will touch.

    • Jonathan – You can see my other comments as to what I think of the quality of this piece. Using the term “political observers say” provides no substance whatsoever. I could use that type of cover to make any statement I want to about anybody at any time. It has zero credibility. A true alternative point of view should still be credible and trustworthy. What I see on this piece is neither.

      Sorry if the academic credentials came across as arrogant to you. The author of this blog and this specific blog post prominently highlights his credentials and I was doing so only to provide the counterbalance. In fact, the main reason I did so was that he and I share the same alma mater. I hold my alma mater in high esteem and was sorely disappointed to see that the author came from the same school after putting forth a piece of content like this one. Otherwise, I would never have even brought up academic credentials.

      I can provide a long list of references that can attest to the fact that arrogance is not a frequently used adjective for me. I am happy to have an open debate on this specific topic solely based on the content and facts alone.

    • People can say the same thing about Diane. She’s one of the nicest people I have met. It’s sad that Alice’s son found the need to rain on Diane’s parade.

      • Hi Lisa – I’m sorry that you feel that way. Please re-read my comments – they are directed at the blog and author. I have not made any negative comment about Diane. I have defended my mother from what I think is an unfair attack. The only raining that was done was done on Alice in the original post. I would not have any problem with this blog or any other internet media site celebrating Diane’s event and entry into the campaign if the article didn’t also do what it did to Alice in the process without any substantive support.

        The author has reached out to me on this blog post’s comments already. We will discuss this together. I’m not sure what else there is to discuss on the comment thread anymore.

  4. First of all Brian the Author didn’t reach out to you Brian , you reached out to Mr. Ricchiazzi . I think Ricchiazzi is right on with this Article people are tired of the old days and how the town has been ran with the Friends and Family Plan.
    Hey Brian care to tell the Blog how your Mother became a Councilwoman? who asked her to take the spot and was she appointed? Id be interested in seeing Mrs. Magierski official time sheets from the state that she has got to fill out , Maybe that would be a good foil for this weeks project. Trust me she isn’t at the Town Hall all that much !

    Mrs Magierski hangs with Vampires and Hyenas its time that we put them asleep and Vote them out of Office.

    • The author commented on this post (above) and asked me to email him, which I will do; so he did reach out. It is an open blog post so you and I are both free to comment here.

      As for the rest, Ms. Magierski has a great track record serving the Town for several decades, most recently as on the Council and as Town Clerk. I’m sure her campaign will promote the results and track record, and plan for the future in due time.

  5. I think common sense would tell us that anyone at anyones fundraiser is there because they are friends, family, etc. No one goes there with a open mind to evaluate the individual running because their minds are already made up! I find it offensive the attacks here on Alice Majierski. If there is anyone running that is more qualified for this position then let me know, cause I don’t see it. Alice would be the spot on candidate. I would also have to ask that insinuating that Frank Max is behind her running is hogwash. What about Mark Wegner and Charlie Markel being behind Diane running. Should we all slander Diane also based on Mark being investigated and Charlie being a thief.

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