Gayle Syposs, the former Deputy Elections Commissioner and City of Tonawanda Chairwoman, defected from the Hillary Clinton camp of the party and publicly announced her support of Bernie Sanders several months ago on social media.
Chairman Jeremy Zellner and his mentor, the Election Commissioner Len Lenihan, rely heavily on the support of Gayle Syposs to retain their control of the committee.
“It is totally untrue as it relates to me and a split; I support Chairman Zellner and ECDC period,” she claims. But on Facebook, her support of Sanders is unabashed and unapologetic.
Defections have also been seen in the opposition faction as well.
Local attorney and well known political saboteur, Peter Reese, is ostensibly breaking with his longtime partner in crime to support the insurgent presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders. Reese is the longtime political compatriot of the renowned operative G. Steven Pigeon, a friend and confidant of both Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Reese and Pigeon are so close that some refer to Reese as “Pigeon’s brain.” With the Bolton St. James lobbyist, Camille Brandon, the triumvirate are thought to control a considerable faction of local Democrats, comprising between 20% and 25% of the governing committee’s weighted vote.
“That that circle of professional operatives would be broken over the drama of a presidential primary speaks to the passion behind Sanders’ support and the division inside the party,” says a former state legislator who asked not to be named.