Gia Arnold: Never Mind

A few Wednesdays ago, Orleans County state senate candidate Gia Arnold ended her campaign because her marriage was falling apart. I wrote about it – and the odd pointlessness of her withdrawal – here

But last Friday – the day commonly reserved for politicians to release bad news – Ms. Arnold told the Buffalo News that she was back in the race. 

“When I made my announcement last week, I never fathomed the hundreds of texts, calls and emails that I received, almost all of which called for me to stay in this race and fight for truth, honesty and what is right for our Senate district. For me, telling the truth and being honest with my supporters and the citizens is the most important aspect of running for and representing the people, even if it means losing some support and not helping myself”

North Tonawanda Mayor Robert Ortt is also running in the Republican primary to replace retiring George Maziarz, and there’s no word yet on what Ortt thinks about “truth, honesty and what is right” for SD-62. 

There are about 3 weeks left in this primary season, and it boils down to: 

 

Gia Arnold’s Bizarre Wednesday

Gia Arnold is a 24 year-old wife and mother who decided in February to run for State Senate against George Maziarz. Introducing herself in her first Facebook post, she explained, 

That’s a nice introduction. She’s got a young family and a hard-working husband. Certainly, Ms. Arnold’s statements regarding high business taxes and “insurance” rates resonate with a lot of people, especially in the more economically depressed parts of the state.  Is this self-proclaimed libertarian suggesting that government intervene to affect private companies’ insurance rates, or is this about tort reform? Who knows? 

In her second post, she self-identifies as “working class” and laments the fact that the incumbent has been in office for 19 years, yet the burden on families and businesses continues to worsen. But it didn’t take long for this kind of crap to become the overarching – almost sole – focus of her campaign: guns

By March, she received the clown endorsement: 

And a few weeks ago, she showed up at an event wearing jewelry I haven’t seen at Reeds-Jenss. 

You get the idea. She knows her audience and she’s become expert at the fine art of pandering.

Maziarz’s Moreland Commission problems put SD-62 into play, and she suddenly found herself with a decent shot in a primary race against the mayor of North Tonawanda, Robert Ortt. She came out of nowhere, and her grassroots effort seemed to be paying dividends. 

Then, suddenly, she issued a bizarre statement in the middle of the night. She revealed that she had an extramarital affair that began less than two weeks ago, and made no apologies for it. She declared that she was quitting the race and gave out her personal cell phone number so that “constituents” could talk to her directly. (Ms. Arnold had never been elected to any public office and has no constituents). She was admitting to the affair out of sense of “integrity” and “honesty”. Laudable, but an answer to a question no one asked. Perhaps she was being blackmailed? Pressured? Or maybe she was just trying to wrest control of the narrative before anyone else got a hold of it. 

But quit the race? Who told her to do that? This isn’t a “people make mistakes” scenario – this is a “failed marriage ending”, and she doesn’t owe anyone any explanation about her personal affairs. If she wanted to control the message, then issue a press release at 4:59 on a Friday and let the news sink in over the weekend. Gauge the reaction and see whether you need to pivot on Monday. Instead, she threw the baby out with the bathwater, walking away from the campaign even though no one demanded that she do so. Her erstwhile supporter Rus Thompson’s reaction was to essentially say, “good riddance”

Albany, however, is a notoriously fetid cesspool. Gia Arnold – failed marriage and all – is small potatoes compared to what goes on there. She’s downright saintly compared to a lot of what goes on there. 

I don’t question her judgment viz. her extramarital affair because who cares; however, I think the hasty amateur-hour way in which she released the news and abruptly quit is evidence that her judgment is poor, and she’s not ready for prime-time. (As for the substance of her poorly articulated platform, let’s not even go there.) 

The news hit Wednesday morning. By mid-afternoon, she was on WBEN telling Tom Bauerle that she might reconsider dropping out, and, in an effort to further justify her new relationship and its affect on her campaign, spent extraordinary time and breath smearing her estranged husband. It went from odd to bizarre, as she explained how she started her affair on August 1st and decided to end her marriage by the 5th. 

A few weeks ago, when the Maziarz news hit, I paid some attention to her and found some ugly stuff on her Facebook page that she hadn’t called out; namely, one guy going ballistic because she appeared somewhere where they had gold fringe on the flag (there is a wackadoodle conspiracy theory that fringe means we’re under martial law or some bullshit), and this on her campaign page, in a discussion about a White House announcement regarding disappearing bees: 

To her credit, she addressed it and deleted the nonsense. So, I don’t think she’s malevolent – just very wrong on the issues and very, very inexperienced. 

She didn’t have to quit the race, and she should have been more diplomatic about her husband Wednesday on the air. I think those two things call her judgment into question and disqualify her from public office, at least for now. The flip-flop on “I’m quitting the race!” to “Never mind!” was simply comical. 

I think back to when I was 24 – I was in law school – and I hand it to her for having the courage to run and put herself out there. But it’s just too early, I think. Go run for town board or county legislature. Gain some experience. Build a support base that’s deeper than “guns”. Learn. Teach. Build up your resume. Don’t rely just on ideology, but also on accomplishments. 

We need more people like Gia Arnold getting involved in politics – on the left and right. But please, recruit some professionals to help you with strategy, messaging, and policy and don’t just wing it.

Carl Paladino: The Pride of Buffalo

Carl Paladino loves to send emails. Here’s one that went out Monday: 

I don’t really care about the substance of Paladino’s whining to his party’s state chairman. I couldn’t care less about Paladino’s political desires or expectations any more than I care whether Ed Cox is running that statewide gun dealer masquerading as a political party. 

What I care about here – aside from a licensed attorney not knowing how to spell “versus” – is Paladino’s endless hate parade against gay people in general, and State Senator George Maziarz in particular. In this case, he reckons Maziarz would be raped in prison, and wishes for him to be beaten by guards.

In 2012, Paladino stooge, liar (or criminal – one or the other), and perennial candidate for somethingorother Rus Thompson accused Maziarz of being gay, and that they would soon “open the closet”

Libeling George Maziarz ca. 2012

There was no closet to open, and there was never anything that these dummies could put forth except accusations and innuendo.  Maziarz may have a lot of faults – some of which are leading to his resignation from the Senate – but whether or not he’s gay is (a) irrelevant to anything he does in Albany; (b) not a bad thing, if true; (c) an accusation that Thompson and Paladino vomited in order to engorge the vicious gay hatred held by members of western New York’s tea party. 

Without a hint of irony, these malignant assholes don a mantle of good government purity yet throw around wild, false accusations and smear enemies based not on facts or policy, but on make-believe and hatred. Think: what is it about Maziarz that led Paladino to single him out as “not doing well in prison”? Why would Libous fare any better than Maziarz?

Paladino is harking back to his and Rus’ 2 year-old effort to smear Maziarz as gay. Not only is Paladino suggesting that Maziarz would be raped by other prisoners, he is reveling in that notion, going on to wish physical harm on Maziarz, hoping that he’ll receive “very special treatment”, whatever that means. Is Paladino just being a straight-up sadist, wishing not only imprisonment, but violent anal rape against Maziarz? 

What do you think Is the genesis of Paladino’s acute hatred and fear of homosexuals?

Paladino’s invocation of “Dannemora” refers to the Clinton Correctional Facility. Although conditions were found to have improved by 2004, in the 1990s, Clinton was notorious for extreme violence and brutality. Evidently, Paladino is not only hopeful that his foes be anally raped, but also that they be beaten by corrections officers for Mr. Paladino’s amusement. 

These are the twisted words of a sick, sadistic individual. Yet we in WNY treat him and his company like pillars of the community – at worst a crazy uncle, at best a point of civic pride. Check yourself, Buffalo – Carl Paladino repeatedly exposes himself for being unworthy of your respect.  

It takes a special kind of megalomania to demand “cleansing” of a statewide party committee that has to take into account not only the virulent homophobia of influential upstate millionaire emailers, but also of downstate moderates. 

It wouldn’t be a proper Paladino rant if there wasn’t a smidge of racial animus thrown into the mix. Yes, of course, Astorino should ignore leaders in the African-American community and only stick to the upstate fairs, this despite the fact that 4.6 million of New York State’s voters live within the 5 boroughs of New York City, while 7.1 million live everywhere else. Erie County, for instance, which has the biggest county fair in the state, boasts 612,000 registered voters – less than 10% of the 5 boroughs. The state’s largest concentration of minority voters is in New York City. 

Paladino lost to Andrew Cuomo dramatically in 2010.  Who is he to give Astorino advice? 

Maziarz in the Niagara Falls Reporter

Down They Go, Horseshoe Falls in Winter, Niagara Falls, Canada (DTB_0134)

Photo by Daniel Novak via AV Photo Daily Flickr Group

The founder and Californian former editor of the now-gynophobic Niagara Falls Reporter, has only good things to say about his friend, Senator George Maziarz, who is retiring under a cloud of suspicion.  Maziarz is under federal investigation for allegedly converting campaign funds to personal use

No one doubts that Maziarz is a personable guy or that his office was excellent at constituent service. The question is whether he misappropriated campaign money. Lucky for Maziarz, he’s got $1 million in campaign funds that he can use to hire excellent criminal defense counsel

The Reporter‘s founder is very self-righteous about corrupt politicians, except the ones he likes. For instance, you’ll likely not find a less corrupt politician than Paul Dyster, yet he is savagely attacked on a weekly basis for the crime of trying to do right by a horribly troubled city. While the Reporter almost single-handedly led to former Mayor Aniello’s indictment and conviction on election fraud (accepting a $40,000 sweetheart “loan” from a Niagara County businessman), it has nothing at all negative to say about Maziarz and the allegations against him. Any other pol would be savagely pilloried. 

Either way, Mike Hudson moved 3,000 miles away, and although his byline occasionally appears in the Reporter, he’s divested himself from any Niagara or WNY worry. 

Oh, and there’s also this, from Maziarz’s latest campaign disclosure

You know, when I was writing nice things about Jon Powers, it was because I supported him and his platform. I gave money to him – not the other way around. 

Maziarz Out, SD-62 Up For Grabs

Here is the statement that soon-to-be-former State Senator George Maziarz issued in order to explain his very sudden and unexpected decision to resign*: 

It is no secret to my family and close friends that I have been considering retirement from the State Legislature for the last five years. And as I geared up for another long campaign season, I realized I just did not have the passion and commitment that I have had in the past to see it through.

People will ask me why now and the simple answer is there is never the perfect time to step away. I had the honor of following the late John Daly into the State Senate. I remember him telling me when he left the Senate it was simply time for the next generation of leaders in the Legislature. After nearly two decades in office, I fully understand what he meant and feel that way today.

My second daughter gets married this summer and that is a much bigger priority for me than another grueling campaign. My family has sacrificed enough for my public service through the years and I cannot ask for any more.

To the people of Niagara, Orleans and Monroe counties who I have had the pleasure to represent since 1995, I extend my heart felt appreciation for your continued support. I always told people that being your Senator was the greatest job in the world, one I dedicated myself to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We accomplished great things and I did my best to help my constituents with any problem…big or small. Thank you for giving a kid from North Tonawanda the chance to fulfill his dream of serving in the State Senate.

Gee shucks, that’s swell. 

But not so fast. 

People just finished collecting petition signatures to get Maziarz’s name on the ballot. He could have easily announced a planned resignation earlier this year. You don’t just drop out of your career politicianship because you’re bored and you need more time for your kids. You don’t simply bow out from the “greatest job in the world” suddenly on a Sunday night. 

Mike Caputo’s PoliticsNY broke the story this weekend, and noted that the resignation comes quickly on the heels of the abrupt resignations of two of Maziarz’s top staffers. On July 11th, the Niagara County Democratic Committee issued a press release demanding a state investigation of Maziarz’s campaign spending

This week we learned Maziarz’s Chief of Staff Alisa Colatarci and Office Manager Marcus Hall both resigned. Given the U.S. Justice Department’s increased focus on public corruption in Albany, if there are reports of senior staff members resigning it should raise some eyebrows.

Eyebrows have indeed been raised ever since City & State revealed in May that two WNY Republican senators – Maziarz and Pat Gallivan – were coming under scrutiny for campaign spending

State Sen. George Maziarz shelled out more than $140,000 in campaign funds over a six-year period without identifying what exactly he purchased, according to an investigation by the now defunct Moreland Commission on Public Corruption—by far the most of any state lawmaker. State Sen. Patrick Gallivan was found to have about $80,000 in unreported campaign credit card expenses, including hundreds of dollars spent on cigars, tanning, and at salons and casinos. State Sen. Greg Ball laid out around $23,000 at retail stores, including Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic and Amore Clothing.

This must be why the Republicans haven’t been making much noise about the disbanding of the Moreland Commission as part of the overall budget deal earlier this year. Keep stumm and don’t kill the job. 

But the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan said, in effect,  “not so fast”. 

To date, there has been considerable speculation about what exactly the Moreland Commission’s investigations team probed over the months it was in operation, but few specifics have been disclosed to the public. Several legislators and critics have openly dismissed the Commission’s work as a “witch hunt.” Conversely, Moreland Commissioner Makau Mutua said earlier this month that the Commission had unearthed potential criminality by 10 to 12 state lawmakers.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was interested enough in finding out what the Commission had discovered that he has launched an inquiry, in part, to get to the bottom of whether “investigations potentially significant to the public interest have been bargained away as part of the negotiated arrangement between legislative and executive leaders,” as he wrote in a letter to the Commission’s members on April 3—a reference to the ethics deal struck between the governor and the Legislature as part of their budget agreement at the end of March, which coincided with Cuomo’s announcement that he was shutting down the Commission.

How does this all play into Maziarz’s resignation? Well, take a look at Binghamton-area Republican state senator Tom Libous – the second-highest ranking GOPer in the Senate- who was just indicted for lying to the FBI about getting his kid a job, and promising to direct work to that firm as a quid-pro-quo. The son was indicted for tax evasion and embezzlement. Libous was also out in front to try and block an extension on the fracking ban, mostly because his wife and a big campaign donor stand to benefit financially from a lifting of the ban

Is Bharara poised to indict Maziarz for corruption that the Moreland Commission uncovered and then simply stopped doing anything about to placate Shelly Silver and Dean Skelos? Consider what City & State uncovered

The legislator with the most number of entries about him is state Sen. George Maziarz, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate leadership. According to the documents, Maziarz amassed more than $140,000 in unitemized campaign expenses in filings reported between 2008 and 2013—which averages out to more than $23,000 a year, or nearly $2,000 a month. The senator’s campaign also had “over $67,000 of charges and expenditures to Chase and Chase Card Services,” identified broadly as “office” expenses. The total sum, which exceeded by tens of thousands of dollars the amount of unspecified expenditures by each of the other lawmakers flagged, is broken down in depth within the documents and includes details not included in the senator’s public campaign filings.

The Commission found that the Maziarz campaign doled out more than $125,000 at retailers such as Target and BJ’s Wholesale Club, including $56,250 in expenditures that investigators concluded had not been reported. Another $10,000 from the senator’s re-election funds went to specialty chocolatiers, a florist and wineries and wine stores. The campaign committee also paid for $7,850 worth of reading materials at Borders, Readers Digest and Barnes & Noble, with $2,000 labeled as “unreported” by the Commission.

The Commission also tabulated the Maziarz campaign spending $12,000 at arts and crafts stores like Michaels and Oriental Trading; $7,000 at the now-defunct online gift boutique Southern Living at HOME and its successor, Willow House; and $4,000 on purchases related to children, including from Toys ”R” Us and Mud Pie, and payments to Do-do, the clown.

A company called MEM Enterprises also received a cumulative $39,000 from the Maziarz campaign. A Commission document notes that the company has only one employee, brings in $54,000 a year and is based at a residence owned by a person who appears to be the senator’s relative. Efforts to reach MEM Enterprises were unsuccessful, however, based upon inquiries made by City & State, it appears that the company’s address is the same as that of the senator’s brother, Marvin Maziarz, a retired Niagara County Community College professor.

As for Pat Gallivan, 

The next highest total was run up by Gallivan, who had about $80,000 in “unreported credit card expenses.” In Gallivan’s case, records for a Capital One card revealed $1,200 spent at casinos, $1,000 on cigars and $300 on “tanning beds and at salons.” The senator also had approximately $4,000 in unreported charges to AT&T, $3,500 in unreported charges to Verizon Wireless, $4,000 in charges to the DeLacy Ford dealership in Elma, N.Y., and almost $3,000 in unreported loan payments to M&T Bank. The Commission was apparently unable to obtain records for an American Express card that had $47,000 in unreported campaign charges.

Generally speaking, lawmakers are forbidden from converting campaign finances to personal use. This sort of analysis of campaign spending is unprecedented, and for decades, no one has bothered to look into any of this. 

It’s quite clear that Maziarz’s unforeseen and hurried exit has to do with something much more grave than a general feeling of political ennui and a sudden desire to focus on his daughter’s nuptials. 

Another corrupt lawmaker in a hypercorrupt Albany? Big surprise, and the way in which this unfolded reveals the degree to which no person or party in Albany has a desire to clean up that city’s act for the good of the people in this state. Thankfully, the people working on the Moreland Commission’s investigations were disgusted enough to forward their investigations to law enforcement. 

About two years ago, Carl Paladino and his cult following tried to unseat Maziarz by spreading rumors that he was gay. It was an especially disgusting campaign – just as you might expect from Carl, Rus Thompson, and any other right-wing homophobe you might encounter. 

It was so ugly and hateful, that I endorsed Maziarz because of it, and also because Paladino was openly backing Maziarz’s primary opponent, Johnny Destino (who is now a Democrat and running for Maziarz’s now-vacant seat).  Consider, then, that Paladino and Rus Thompson could have – but didn’t – pushed instead an argument that Maziarz was corrupt. That would have been a tougher argument to make, and by no means as much fun to a couple of gay-bashers, but at least it would have smacked of factual accuracy. 

But most importantly, recall Governor Cuomo’s agreement with the Working Families Party to start backing the idea of a Democratic Senate in exchange for its fusion endorsement. With Libous’ indictment and Maziarz’s departure, that’s two Republican seats up for grabs. (Libous and Maziarz, incidentally, were not backbenchers – they were quite powerful). The Republicans have a de facto majority in the Senate thanks to a small group of breakaway Democrats led by Jeffery Klein, the “Independent Democratic Conference”.

Right now, the Senate is made up of 29 Republicans, 24 Democrats (2 formerly Democratic seats are vacant), 1 Democrat caucusing with the Republicans, and the 4 members of the IDC. If the IDC decides to abandon its Republican ties the Democrats get a majority.  

The NYS Board of Elections reveals that Democratic enrollment in the 62nd District is almost 63,000 Democrats and just under 60,000 Republicans. 4,000 are enrolled Conservative, 1,200 are enrolled in the WFP, and 8,200 are in the Independence Party. The Greens have fewer than 400 enrollees. With a slight Democratic enrollment advantage, this seat is wholly up for grabs. 

* I use the word “resign” not to denote an immediate Maziarz withdrawal from public office, but merely to connote the fact that he’s choosing to not seek re-election to his Senatorship-for-life. As of right now, Maziarz is expected to complete his term of office. 

Endorsements: And the Rest

Please note: these are not Artvoice endorsements, nor are they to be cited as such. They have not been approved or made by the Artvoice editors, publisher, or any combination thereof. Any endorsements are mine and mine alone. They are preferences – not predictions. 

See Erie County Senate Race endorsements here. 

The primary elections are taking place this Thursday. Please vote, if you can.

State Senate: 62d District (George Maziarz (R) Incumbent)

Republican Primary: George Maziarz

Yesterday, I accidentally omitted this race, since I was working off an Erie County list. In Niagara County, longtime incumbent George Maziarz has suddenly found himself on the receiving end of a barrage of hatred and vitriol spewed his way by the likes of Carl Paladino and his compliant sidekick, Rus Thompson. For more about this – and how it’s degenerated from exposing Maziarz’s cronyism to outing him as a closeted gay – click this link and this link

I have no doubt that Maziarz is yet another Republican careerist officeholders who talks up private enterprise while being unencumbered by it; who wants to reduce the size and scope of government while ensuring that he continues to be coddled and supported by its largesse. He is no different in that respect from any of them. He even went so far as to pander to the tea party movement a few years ago, which was quite odd. 

Senator Maziarz and the tea party in happier times

I don’t know the ins and outs of Niagara County politics, except to say that what little I know makes Erie County look urbane by comparison. I’m sure Maziarz’s opponent, Johnny Destino, is a swell guy, but in this case the support of his campaign by the abusive Paladino tea party inures against him, and – leaving most observers amazed and shocked – actually makes Maziarz out to be a sympathetic figure. 

It’s reminiscent of what Pigeon and his collection of goons tried to do to Sam Hoyt a few years ago – in trying to help Barbra Kavanaugh, they unleashed a barrage of negativity on Hoyt that was so relentlessly vicious, that people felt sorry for Hoyt and Kavanaugh lost. I called it the “Kavanaugh flip” – that moment when a negative campaign injures itself, rather than its intended target

That’s what Thompson and Paladino – two guys who couldn’t get elected, and have had little success helping others do the same – have done with Maziarz. 

Assembly 147th District (New)

Republicans: David DiPietro

David DiPietro may be something of a tea party loon and a perennial candidate, and he is unfortunately associated with the likes of Paladino, but I’d actually like to see him go to Albany and have a chance at accomplishing something. He’s a lot of talk, let’s see some action. The rest of this collection are no great shakes, anyway. Dan Humiston? Really? 

Independence Party: Christina Abt

Setting aside for a moment my natural aversion to electoral fusion, given that Abt is up against IP member Humiston, I think it apt that you go to the polls and support her. She is good people and needs the IP line. 

Assembly 149th District: (Sean Ryan (D)Incumbent): 

I’m torn by this choice. On the one hand, I like what Sean Ryan has done since going to Albany, and I think his mission to re-invent IDAs and the way they encourage inter-regional poaching of businesses through weak, poorly vetted promises that are seldom kept. By the same token, I am a huge fan of Kevin Gaughan‘s – more for his promotion of regional government than for his downsizing effort – and would very much like to see him get elected to public office, so that we can see him in action. 

So, I’m not making an endorsement in this race, except to urge Democrats to go to the polls and not vote for Mascia

 

Maziarz Backs Bellavia #Shotsfired

If you had any doubt that Chris Collins‘ star has not only faded, but has been all but extinguished, witness State Senator George Maziarz’s astonishing, early endorsement of David Bellavia to challenge Democrat Kathy Hochul in the newly constituted NY-27. 

In just a few short weeks, Bellavia has taken the reins in this Republican primary – he announced first, he challenged Collins to a series of debates – an activity Collins detests, and he has lined up the support of millionaire Jack Davis. Bellavia has seemingly accumulated not only momentum, but something he has always sorely lacked – money. Now, boots are on the ground collecting signatures, and Bellavia expects to well exceed the approximately 1,000 signatures needed to get on the Republican ballot, and may also seek a second line. 

Collins has a tough row to hoe. As I wrote in November, Collins’ tenure in government was packed with mini-scandals. He referred to the Jewish Assembly Speaker as the “anti-Christ”, and the time when Collins jokingly demanded a “lap dance” in order to save a seat at the State of the State address for a well-connected female executive at a local construction company. It ignores the fact that, to some people, informing them days before Christmas that they’d be losing their state-funded daycare services and that they’d have to quit their jobs to watch their kids, is quite scandalous indeed.

Secondly, Collins did not, as some claim, “fulfill all his promises“. Collins raised taxes, deepened regional cleaves, and ran on “Three Rs – Reforming Erie County government, Rebuilding the local economy, and ultimately, Reducing taxes.”

He did not reform county government – in fact, he resisted and blocked reforms almost routinely (another “r”); he did not rebuild the local economy, but ensured that stimulus funds were hoarded to artificially improve his balance sheet; and he did not reduce – but raised – taxes. That’s breaking your promises, and that’s failure under any measure. It’s no wonder he lost.

Bellavia is now collecting support from the Republican establishment – especially those who were never big fans of Collins’.  Here is the relevant text of the Maziarz endorsement press release:

New York State Senator George D. Maziarz today announced his Republican Primary endorsement of conservative Republican David Bellavia for Congress in the 27th Congressional District of New York.

“I’ve known David Bellavia and his family for many years and I can speak with great confidence about his principle, honor, and integrity,” Sen. Maziarz said. “I am very proud of the way David represented western New York when he fought so heroically in the Iraq War. When he returned from combat I encouraged his interest in politics and I can say without reservation David Bellavia is by far the best person to represent our area in Congress.”

Upon Bellavia’s return from combat, Maziarz was instrumental in awarding him with the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross and inducting him into the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame.

“While I admire David for his military service, it is important for the voters to know his knowledge of national issues far exceeds his opponent in the Republican Primary and his general election competitor,” Sen. Maziarz said. “David knows how those issues impact the working class, because he is just like the constituents of the 27th District – a hardworking family man who knows what it’s like to struggle with high taxes and balancing the family budget.”

“I am humbled by Sen. Maziarz’s early support in this Republican Primary because I know he weighs endorsements very carefully,” Bellavia said. “He has been a mentor to me with his advice and counsel and an example to me with how he conducts himself as a public servant. His backing is a real shot in the arm for our campaign, especially because almost his entire State Senate district lies within the 27th Congressional District.”

“I will strive to serve Sen. Maziarz’s constituents in Congress with as much devotion to duty as he has shown for 17 years in the State Senate,” Bellavia said.