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Guild Swearingen to run for Niagara County Legislature

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Thu, Feb 21st 2019 09:00 pm
Wendy Guild Swearingen
Wendy Guild Swearingen

Wendy Guild Swearingen, a former Lewiston-Porter Board of Education member, has announced her candidacy for the Niagara County Legislature.

Guild Swearingen, who is registered with the Independence Party, will vie for the 1st District Legislature seat occupied by Republican Clyde Burmaster of Ransomville.

She is currently president of the Orleans-Niagara BOCES board and served on the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education from 2009-12. Guild Swearingen was the top vote-getter in her first run.

Guild Swearingen is editor of ForeverYoung and senior editor of Buffalo Spree Magazine. She lives in Youngstown with her husband and two sons.

“I believe the time is right for change in Niagara County,” Guild Swearingen said. “I ran for the Lewiston-Porter School Board to bring about much-needed change 10 years ago. Now it’s clear that county government is also ripe for change. It’s time to bring local government into the 21st century.”

Guild Swearingen is the ninth child in her family to graduate from Lewiston-Porter. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English at State University of New York at Brockport and a master of fine arts degree at the University of Montana, Missoula. She currently serves as vice president of Friends of Youngstown Library, a member of the environmental group Residents for Responsible Government, youth and adult mentor for Leadership Niagara, and is a 2019 class member of Leadership Buffalo.

“I’ve become increasingly concerned that Porter and Ransomville are neglected, and am disappointed that the legislature supported withholding financial disclosure reports from the public,” Guild Swearingen said. “Transparency is vital in government. I hope to build trust between elected officials and constituents and be a voice for the people in my district and the county.”

Of particular concern for Guild Swearingen is continuing the county’s fight to stop Chemical Waste Management from building another hazardous waste landfill, known as RMU2, in the county legislature’s First District.

“Having one hazardous waste landfill located behind our schools and emptying its waste into the Niagara River and on into the largest source of fresh water on our continent is bad enough. Building another enormous one right next to it is indefensible madness,” she said.

Guild Swearingen also cited caring for the growing senior population in Niagara County as a priority.

“As the editor of a senior paper, I am well versed in the issues confronting seniors. From health care to transportation to mental and social well-being, I want to help our seniors get their needs met,” she said.

Tourism and farming are important drivers in Lewiston and Porter’s economy, Guild Swearingen said. “We live in one of the most fertile, rich and beautiful environments on earth, just downriver from one of the natural wonders of the world. Protecting these natural treasures while supporting farmers and small businesses and developing ways to share them and the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area with visitors is a top priority for me.” 

Guild Swearingen plans to run on the Independence Party line while seeking one of the other major party lines.

"Although I'm in the Independence Party, I will seek approval to run on the Democrat line,” she said. “Truthfully, in local government such as the county legislature, parties shouldn't need to play a large role. Issues are what matter, and we need to start governing based on local issues. State and federal party politics should be of little relevance in county government. I just want to do right by the residents of the 1st District and Niagara County as a whole."

Guild Swearingen is expected to make a public announcement at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Falkner Park on Main Street in Youngstown.

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