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Gallivan Overcomes Party Bosses to Claim Volker's Seat | Commentary

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Gallivan Overcomes Party Bosses to Claim Volker's Seat
Commentary, Politics

Pat Gallivan will begin his term as State Senator in the 59th District in January and owe no one in his own party. Gallivan defeated former County Chairman Jim Domalgowski, who had been anointed by County Exec Chris Collins and endorsed by Carl Paladino, in the September primary. Gallivan then went it alone in the general election, not riding the Paladino freight train like so many other locals. Now Gallivan is his own man owning a seat in a heavily Republican district for as long as he wants it.

Gallivan should count his blessings that Paladino screwed his pal David DiPietro in the primary by giving a last minute endorsement to Domalgowski. Mister "I'm not a politician" pulled the oldest political move in the book by abandoning his fellow tea party pal DiPietro and endorsing Domogowski to gain favor with Chris Collins. DiPietro consistently promoted Paladino with weekly live appearances on his WECK radio program leading up to his announced run for Governor, yet Paladino jilted him when he needed his help. A Paladino endorsed DiPietro could have squeaked out a primary victory over Gallivan.

Now Gallivan owes the power brokers in his own party nothing. With that choir boy face and full head of hair, Patty boy can become a force in WNY politics. Gallivan did it with help from his predecessor Dale Volker, who had his retirement forced upon him by Jim Domalgowski. In recent years Volker has been stronger outside of Erie County than in it which is why Domalgowski gave up his position as Republican Chairman, thinking now is the time to enter the fray and push the old man aside. The only problem was Gallivan also needed a place to land knowing his position on the State Parole Board was coming to an end.

Gallivan wisely recruited old pal Jon Dandes (on Pat's left in photo) to help his campaign. Dandes is President of the Bison's, a long time crony on the Buffalo Partnership and CVB Board. Dandes had been involved in Gallivan's former races for Sheriff and is currently a big Sheriff Tim Howard supporter and mentor. Dandes has been a behind the scenes Republican activist, although he has been known to work for conservative Democrats from time to time. With Dandes adding his expertise, Gallivan's charisma and good looks proved to be too much for his competition.

Do not be surprised to see Gallivan serve for two terms as a State Senator and then try his hand at running for a Congressional seat. In four years Pat will not have to worry about courting favor with Republican leadership, they will be the ones seeking an audience.

Commentary, Politics

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