School board member Sharon Belton Cottman is emerging as the leading Democrat contender to challenge Mike Woolford, the widely respected Buffalo businessman, for Common Council from Buffalo’s Masten District. Woolford is running on the Conservative line — with the Ellicott district’s Darius Pridgen — in the general election.
Belton-Cottoman must win a crowded Democrat primary. Two other lesser known candidates have filed for the Democrat primary but it is unclear whether or not they will appear on the ballot. Political operatives expect the general election to be intensely competitive with the two popular figures each expected to garner big turnout.
Woolford, the patriarch of a large and well regarded family, is a well known and popular personality in the district. He has a large family and is expected to field an impressive campaign. His supporters say that “he has broad bipartisan appeal and a message of unity and collaboration”
Some political observers are worried that, if Belton-Cottman were elected to the Council, that the majority bloc of the school board could appoint someone to fill the vacancy, presumably weakening the opposition bloc.