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Niagara County GOP Committee supporting Ernie Palmer

by jmaloni
Sat, Aug 31st 2013 07:00 am

by Terry Duffy

With the Sept. 10 primary looming around the corner, the Niagara County Republican Committee issued a statement this week with regard to the race for supervisor in the Town of Lewiston.

Over past weeks, reports surfaced that both incumbent Steve Reiter and current Town Councilman Ernest Palmer secured sufficient numbers of voter signatures on petitions to enable their candidacy in the Sept. 10 primary on the GOP line.

However, the Niagara County Republican Committee has opted to remain in the background - until this week, announcing that it has decided to come out in support of Palmer in the primary.

Niagara County Republican Chairman Scott Kiedrowski offered the following explanation:

"The Niagara County Republican Committee did not make a formal endorsement in the Lewiston supervisor's race between Steve Reiter and Ernie Palmer several months ago as we were simply waiting to see if any clarity would emerge.

"But the fact is Steve Reiter continues to have a legal cloud hanging over his head, based on his own admissions of using town gas pumps for personal use, and that legal investigation apparently will not be cleared up anytime soon. The leadership of our party believes we need to move in a different direction.

"Clearly, Ernie Palmer is the best candidate to lead Lewiston going forward. With Ernie's distinguished law enforcement background, voters can be assured that the questionable activity that has been alleged in Town Hall will come to an end. Not only is he a man of tremendous integrity, but he has a strong record as a member of the Lewiston Town Board.

"Ernie Palmer has our full backing."

When contacted Thursday, Kiedrowski said the GOP committee acted as it did due to what he called a continuing issue of non-communication with Reiter. He said the committee has been and remains sympathetic to Reiter's situation with respect to his recent heart surgery. But Kiedrowski said the committee remained concerned over his silence, from the legal issues stemming from earlier FBI investigations and the continuing state attorney general's office interest into alleged past improprieties involving Reiter, as well as his non-communication with the committee on his intention of running.

"I know Steve had the surgery, and I understand its seriousness," said Kiedrowski. "But we have not had a conversation."

Kiedrowski said Reiter continues to go the route of working within his own ranks, keeping the committee at a distance. "Steve talks to a lot of those individuals that surround him, his surrogates.

"But there is no clarity (with the committee) on Steve's legal issues, nor on his intent on running."

"This is not an indictment on Steve or anybody from the county party," Kiedrowski continued. "He has not reached out to us. I feel we had to do what we had to do."

When contacted on Thursday, Reiter commented, "That's their decision to make, to support me or not."

He didn't elaborate.

In a recent letter to Lewiston residents announcing his candidacy and addressing the issue, Palmer offered the following:

"With the support of each of my colleagues on the Town Board, I have decided to seek the office of town supervisor in the upcoming election.

"As I go door to door and reintroduce myself to loyal voters, many are asking for clarity with regard to the situation with the current town supervisor. This is understandable, as I have been getting mixed messages myself regarding whether he has decided to stay in the race or not. With primary day less than three weeks away, I can't wait for a decision any longer."

"This past year has presented some embarrassing challenges for the town, including oversight and investigations by both the New York state attorney general and the FBI," Palmer continued. "For obvious reasons, this has caused strife within our community. During my time on the council, I have continuously stressed ethical accountability. As supervisor, I can assure you my administration will not be the subject of state and federal investigations.

"I respectfully ask for your trust and support on primary day," Palmer concluded.

When reached Thursday for additional comment on his decision to run, Palmer said he chose to do so as result of the continuing uncertainties involving Reiter, particularly from his recent surgery.

"(Myself) and the Town Board members were uncertain on whether he was going to run or not," he said.

"Look, Steve and I are friends; we have been colleagues for a number of years," Palmer continued. "(But) he's got his own style of leadership, I have mine. I just wanted to give the voters a choice." been and remains sympathetic to Reiter's situation with respect to his recent heart surgery. But Kiedrowski said the committee remained concerned over his silence, from the legal issues stemming from earlier FBI investigations and the continuing state attorney general's office interest into alleged past improprieties involving Reiter, as well as his non-communication with the committee on his intention of running.

"I know Steve had the surgery, and I understand its seriousness," said Kiedrowski. "But we have not had a conversation."

Kiedrowski said Reiter continues to go the route of working within his own ranks, keeping the committee at a distance. "Steve talks to a lot of those individuals that surround him, his surrogates.

"But there is no clarity (with the committee) on Steve's legal issues, nor on his intent on running."

"This is not an indictment on Steve or anybody from the county party," Kiedrowski continued. "He has not reached out to us. I feel we had to do what we had to do."

When contacted on Thursday, Reiter commented, "That's their decision to make, to support me or not."

He didn't elaborate.

In a recent letter to Lewiston residents announcing his candidacy and addressing the issue, Palmer offered the following:

"With the support of each of my colleagues on the Town Board, I have decided to seek the office of town supervisor in the upcoming election.

"As I go door to door and reintroduce myself to loyal voters, many are asking for clarity with regard to the situation with the current town supervisor. This is understandable, as I have been getting mixed messages myself regarding whether he has decided to stay in the race or not. With primary day less than three weeks away, I can't wait for a decision any longer."

"This past year has presented some embarrassing challenges for the town, including oversight and investigations by both the New York state attorney general and the FBI," Palmer continued. "For obvious reasons, this has caused strife within our community. During my time on the council, I have continuously stressed ethical accountability. As supervisor, I can assure you my administration will not be the subject of state and federal investigations.

"I respectfully ask for your trust and support on primary day," Palmer concluded.

When reached Thursday for additional comment on his decision to run, Palmer said he chose to do so as result of the continuing uncertainties involving Reiter, particularly from his recent surgery.

"(Myself) and the Town Board members were uncertain on whether he was going to run or not," he said.

"Look, Steve and I are friends; we have been colleagues for a number of years," Palmer continued. "(But) he's got his own style of leadership, I have mine. I just wanted to give the voters a choice."

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