Meet Assemblyman Erik Bohen.
"I have a lot of conservative values. I'm more of a moderate conservative democrat," he said.
With the Erie County Republican Committee's endorsement, he scored a slim special election victory over Democratic candidate and Erie County Legislator Pat Burke.
On Thursday's Primary, Bohen will appear on three different lines: Republican, Conservative and Independent.
"We chose him because he was, I believe, the candidate that showed the strongest independence and would take the fight to Andrew Cuomo," Erie County Republican Chair Nick Langworthy added.
But Bohen didn't originally plan on running as a Republican.
"I went in front of the Democratic Committee after I won and the way I was treated, I do not need to be a part of that," Bohen said.
There's no love lost between Bohen and the head of the Democratic Party in Erie County.
"At a time when most people are running from the Republican Party like their hair is on fire, he's running to them to embrace them," Jeremy Zellner said.
The Democratic Party's choice--once again, Pat Burke.
Burke issued this statement to 7 Eyewitness News:
Voters deserve better than the duplicitous politics of Erik Bohen. Only in New York State could a registered Democrat run as a Republican and claim to be an independent. It is a corrupt manipulation of the voters and Bohen deserves to be called out for it. He refuses to debate and continues to hide behind his falsehoods.
If Bohen truly was an independent then why did he not file independent nominating petitions like other true independents? If he was a true independent then why did he seek the Democratic endorsement twice in 2018? If he is a true independent then why is he running as a Republican? If he was a true independent, then why did he funnel over $30,000 to the Republican Party after the special election in April of 2018? If he was truly independent then why did he boast of being an "active Democratic Committeemen for the past 10 years"? It isn't independence, it is opportunism and I hope the voters in the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party primaries see him for what he is.
Bohen has lied about his associations with Carl Paladino and he has lied about his association with Sheila Meegan. When his falsehoods are pointed out, he complains that he is being maligned. The truth is that Bohen has found success by misrepresenting himself to the voters. He also has partaken in negative attack adds that have no truth to them whatsoever all while complaining that he himself is being attacked.
He owes it to the voters of the 142nd District to clarify his positions:
Does he support Donald Trump?
Has he taken the support of Supervisor Sheila Meegan?
How did he get the Republican endorsement for Assembly as a Democrat?
What was the $30,000 that he sent the GOP for?
Bohen publicly committed to supporting transgender rights but then voted against the GENDA bill in the NYS Assembly.
Why did he publicly deny a political relationship with Carl Paladino?
Why did he send smear mailers against Pat Burke?
Bohen's response to Burke's statement:
Every day I am out talking to residents, business owners, seniors, and parents within my district about the issues and they know I am the independent voice that will represent the best interests of the district. I will continue to address the concerns of the people as I have since I took office on April 30th and represent this district with the upmost integrity.