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No more Powers... Now what for the Dems in Genesee County? Thoughts?

By Philip Anselmo

A win in the Democrat primary by Alice Kryzan yesterday played up across the media last night and this morning as a "shock" and an "upset victory" has hit especially hard here in Genesee County. Whatever reasons you want to give for the win—that people were just fed up with the tooth-and-nail battles between Jack Davis and Jon Powers is getting the most cred in the papers and blogs today—the end result is the same: voters said no to the bigger names and yes to the lesser known.

Buffalo Pundit has this to say:

Because Powers and Davis spent so much time bashing each other, 2/3 of Kryzan’s job was done for her without her having to spend a dime. She needed one thing to stand out, and the “boys, take it somewhere else” ad was just the ticket. She comes out of this relatively unscathed, so Republican Chris Lee doesn’t have a lot of negative ammunition to use against her. Hopefully Kryzan is able to capitalize on the desire for change in Washington and take the seat away from the Republicans.

Nor is the Pundit alone in finding solace in the loss of his favored candidate—Powers—in the train wreck conclusion to the political career of one of the Democrats least favorite representatives: Jack Davis. And least favorite representative is a euphemism wrapped in a pink bow compared to what I've heard from many Democrats about Davis. So many of them outright detest the man.

But what does it all mean for Genesee County? Jon Powers was the favored candidate here by nearly a hundred votes over Kryzan and another fifty over Davis. I haven't heard anything from the Powers crew since the loss, and I have to imagine that they are somewhere dark and cool nursing the shell shock of a campaign that went from the little engine that could to a primetime fight to: Hey, we've got a real chance to win this thing, only to crash and burn amidst the collateral damage of the negative campaigning.

So I turned to Charlie Mallow, who, for one more week anyway, is the chairman of the Genesee County Democrats. He put it pretty simply and straight out.

I think we have been left with a candidate that we know very little about. Alice’s win was surprising and not the will of the voters in our county. There is going to be a period were people will come to their own conclusions about who they will support in November. All of the active Democrats in our district were behind Powers and whole party infrastructure was setup to support him. It’s going to take a lot for Alice to turn the ship around and develop the support she is going to need in November. Alice has been to Genesee County, her record defending chemical companies in lawsuits against people who suffered due to their neglect of the environment isn’t sitting well with me and it didn’t sit well with the core of our committee when we were vetting candidates. District wid, it’s clear this vote was about supporting someone who wasn’t Jack Davis or Jon Powers. Jack Davis ran the most despicable campaign that I can ever remember. His baseless attacks on Jon Powers turned the voters off. I believe Powers was stuck in a tough a position defending himself from Davis and it was felt that he hit back too hard and dirtied himself.

Ouch. There's some real hurt in the county this morning. Charlie's right, if not a little bit exaggerated, in his statement that the endorsement of Alice by the Democrats was not the will of the voters in this county. Powers pulled 621 votes. Kryzan took in 524.

So what does it mean for the future of the party? What does it mean going into the general election in November? I asked Charlie what would happen and if Democrats in the county might turn away from Kryzan, for whatever reason.

He wrote back to me:

Some will seek other options but, the vast majority will sooner or later support her before Election Day. We are Democrats; we have an ideology that puts us more in line with Kryzan than Lee.

Lee is Chris Lee, the Republican that will be running against Kryzan in the 26th Congressional District. His television ads were already running as the primary results were coming in last night. I guess that's game on.

What are your thoughts, whether you're a Democrat or Republican? Will you support Kryzan? Were you a Powers supporter who will not back Kryzan? Why do you think she ended up getting the nod?

Patrick D. Burk

I was able to judge how some people were thinking because of the vast number of people I talk to on a day to day basis. Jon Powers and Jack Davis lost support, even among active Democrats because of the negative tone. Alice played it well and I can tell you quite a few people who are "active" Democrats that will support her now. There were even a few signs here prior to the primary. What does it mean when both the State Senate and the Congressional endorsed candidates lose the Primary??? You look at the new situation.... A vote for Kryzan at least is a vote for someone who believes in WNY... not a vote for one more rich guy looking to get to Congress on the backs of imported jobs and business. That is what you do. That is what I am going to do....ALICE 2008....let's get the ball rolling.

Sep 10, 2008, 3:27pm Permalink

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