Maziarz not seeking re-election.

July 13th, 2014 Western New York political circles are ablaze with speculation that state Sen. George Maziarz may not seek re-election this fall, something that Western New York Democratic sources and a Western New York political blog confirmed Sunday night. Sources said Maziarz, a Republican, plans to decline his petitions and doesn’t appear to be running for re-election. Sources, as well as the blog — Politics NY — said the Republican Party may tap North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt to take the long-time senator’s place on the ballot. Calls to sources close to Maziarz and a Senate Republican spokesperson were not immediately answered. Maziarz has grown to become one of the GOP’s more powerful senators, serving as vice president pro tempore since 2011. He also is chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. The chatter comes days after the Niagara County Democratic Committee put out a release regarding reports that Maziarz’s chief of staff and office manager resigned. In the release, Niagara County Democratic Chairman Nick Forster called on federal and state prosecutors to investigate Maziarz, claiming that the resignations raised questions about the operation of the senator’s office. The Buffalo News reported the resignations Sunday night. Challengers to Maziarz filed petitions to run last week. Niagara Falls lawyer Johnny Destino, a former Republican turned Democrat, and Gia Arnold, a Republican, both filed to challenge for the 62nd Senate District seat. In May, City & State magazine reported that the Moreland Commission was looking into Maziarz’s campaign spending before the panel was disbanded.

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