BUFFALO, NY ( release) On the steps of the Rath Building and surrounded by over 50 supporters, including several elected officials and Democratic Party leaders, Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Maria Whyte today announced that she will run for Erie County Clerk. The position became vacant when Kathy Hochul was elected to Congress in last month’s special election.
Whyte said, “As soon as Kathy Hochul won her election, many leaders from around the community approached me and asked me to consider this position. Honestly, I was humbled and honored to have so many encourage me. After that initial surprise, I began to seriously consider the position and the race. I have discussed it with my family and close friends and I am excited to report that I am running for Erie County Clerk.”
Whyte continued, “After six years as the Majority Leader on the County legislature, I have a broad understanding of the Clerk’s office and its role in the overall mission of county government. County government is about providing consistent, high-quality services, efficiently and honorably. The Clerk’s office is used by virtually every resident in Erie County and so, in that way, it is one of the most important elected offices we have. I know, with my management experience, my government experience and my leadership experience, I can make that office work for all of Erie County taxpayers.”
Whyte was elected to the County legislature in 2005. She was the first freshman ever elected by her peers to be Majority Leader and has held that position since. In that capacity, she has worked closely with communities throughout the county on such things as youth programming, regional planning, farmland protection, and the improvement of county parks and roads. Whyte explained, “There is not a single village, hamlet or town I haven’t been involved with in the last six years.” As the Majority Leader and the Vice Chair of the Legislature's Finance and Management Committee, Whyte has also led the Democratic caucus through five on-time, balanced, county budgets that have held the line on property taxes and restored the county's fund balance.
Whyte concluded, “I am uniquely positioned to carry on the tremendous work of Kathy Hochul and Dave Swarts before her. I look forward to the challenge of the upcoming campaign and I look forward to bringing my pledge of efficient, high-quality services to every corner of this county.”
Whyte has been endorsed by the Erie County Democratic Party and the Working Families Party and is not expected to have any primary opponents.