Town Clerk and former Councilwoman Alice Magierski is running for town supervisor, but after early missteps observers wonder if she is being well served by her campaign manager. Brian Magierski, her son, is running her campaign from his Austin, TX office.
He is a prolifically successful investment banker, but lacks political experience and has been removed from his childhood hometown for a couple decades.
Magierski’s first misstep was her campaign announcement. Outgoing supervisor Mary Holtz spilled the beans to the Buffalo News, in a hurried announcement of her retirement. She has been criticized for personal use of a town vehicle that she argues is appropriate.
Observers interpreted the choreographed resignation and announcement of Magierski’s campaign as an effort to preempt the annoucnement of Diane Benczkowski, a popular first year Councilwoman who is aligned against the former party chairman Frank Max and has been planning a run for sometime.
The announcement signaled to longtime Cheektowaga politicos that Magierski was the the “Max candidate” in the ongoing battle between Cheektowaga’s two long entrenched political factions. Max is a deeply unpopular figure in the town, and the association did not help the candidate.
The second misstep was the nonexistence of a media strategy running up to the Democrat party’s endorsement meeting, where Benczkowski took the party endorsement despite Magierski’s years of experience. Observers say that Magierski could have taken the endorsement with a more deliberate communication strategy.
“Brian thinks that Alice can win with a modest media buy at the last minute,” says one Cheektowaga politico. “He doesn’t understand that a viable campaign needs to propagate a narrative that keeps supporters interested, informed, and onboard. He doesn’t understand the concept of momentum.”
“At this point, Benczkowski has all the momentum,” he says. “Brian has the resources to put $200,000 into this and not blink, but he wants to do it on the cheap. That’s probably not going to serve Alice well.”
Both political factions agree that Alice Magierski is a deserving, well liked, and experienced figure in town politics. They universally agree that she is a strong candidate who can still pull out a decisive win, but they wonder why her supporters haven’t stepped up with the resources to do so soundly.
Some speculate that she may have an “October surprise strategy.”