Just the facts — campaign financials for potential 2023 candidates and others; the Chief Judge appointment

Twice a year, in January and July, all political committees in New York State, whether or not they are involved in an election that year, are required to file reports with the state Board of Elections noting their receipts, expenditures, and account balances.  The January reports were due last week, reporting on finances as of January 11th.  State legislative candidates who ran in 2022 were only filing for the period from the end of November through January.  All other committees were reporting their finances since last July.

The state Board of Elections website makes extracting such information difficult. Also, the BOE appears to make no serious effort to require the filings to be made on a timely basis.

The following is a summary of some major committee accounts of Western New York political committees.

State Legislators (who are reporting from November 2022 through early January)


  • District 57 – George Borrello (R) – raised $2,000; Balance $123,410
  • District 60 – Pat Gallivan (R)– raised $250; Balance $173,206
  • District 61 – Sean Ryan (D) – raised $9,300; Balance $208,750
  • District 62 – Robert Ortt (R) – no January report available as of January 23
  • District 63 – Tim Kennedy (D)– raised $29,692; Balance $1,894,553; Refunded $64,025; Senator Kennedy continues to have more in his campaign treasury than the combined total of the 15 other state legislators from Western New York who are listed in this post.


  • District 140 – Bill Conrad (D) – raised $1,705; Balance $27,572
  • District 141 – Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D) – no January report available as of January 23
  • District 142 –Pat Burke (D)– raised $1,500; Balance $21,753
  • District 143 – Monica Wallace (D)– raised $1,000; Balance $73,762
  • District 144 – Michael Norris (R) – raised $0; Balance $133,065
  • District 145 – Angelo Morinello (R)– raised $1,000; Balance $41,126
  • District 146 – Karen McMahon (D)– raised $500; Balance $58,418
  • District 147 – David DiPietro (R)– raised $6,260; Balance $135,409
  • District 148 – Joseph Giglio (R) – Raised $0; Balance $13,480
  • District 149 – Jonathan Rivera (D)– raised $0; Balance $40,448
  • District 150 – Andrew Goodell (R) – Raised $500; Balance $54,912

All other reporting was the first since July 2022

City of Buffalo

  • Mayor Byron Brown (D) – raised $189,525; Balance $243,950

County of Erie – County Executive race potential candidates

  • Mark Poloncarz (D) – raised $204,483; Balance $429,551
  • Ed Rath (R) – raised $0; Balance $4,610
  • Mickey Kearns (R) – raised $233; Balance $5,858
  • Gary Dickson (R) – raised $3,792; Balance $16,470
  • Nate McMurray (D) – has no committee on file with the state BOE

Former elected officials

  • Joel Giambra (I) Balance $488,452 (July 2022; January 2023 report not available as of January 23)
  • Tony Masiello (D) Balance $79,490 (January 2022; January 2023 report not available as of January 23)
  • Michael Ranzenhofer (R) Balance $785,981
  • Robin Schimminger (D) – Balance $387,518

Judicial politics

The Judiciary Committee of the State Senate last week failed to recommend Governor Kathy Hochul’s appointee for Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, Hector LaSalle.  Evidently for political purposes the number of senators on the Committee was recently increased by four members which permitted the progressive members of the Democratic Caucus, who are mostly from New York City, to defeat the nomination.  Democratic Senator Sean Ryan of Buffalo was among those voting against the recommendation of LaSalle to the full Senate, which failed by one vote.

The Senate Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, announced after the Committee action that “[i]t’s clear that this nominee was rejected and that’s it.”  The State Constitution, Article VI, Section 2.e., however, states that the Governor shall appoint the Chief Judge “with the advice and consent of the Senate.”  There is no reference in the Constitution to a committee of the Senate having any role in the confirmation process.  The Judiciary Committee consists of just 19 of the 63 members of the Senate.

The Governor was required to choose her nominee from a list of seven potential candidates put forth by the constitutionally created Judicial Nomination Commission, which consists of four people appointed by the former Chief Judge, Janet DiFiore; three appointed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo; one appointed by Governor Hochul; and one each appointed by the Speaker and Minority Leader of the Assembly and the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Senate.  There is some talk about revising the constitutionally mandated process.

Governor Hochul is reviewing her options for this judicial nomination.  How she proceeds could impact the entire 2023 session of the Legislature, including the adoption of the annual budget.

Twitter @kenkruly