Tonawanda News

Local News

September 13, 2012

Labor jumps into Senate fray

Tonawanda News — The New York State Working Families party is weighing in on a “stalking horse” candidate’s shenanigans in the 62nd District state Senate primary contest.

On Wednesday, state party co-chairman Paul Schuh blasted Timothy Moriarty, a party member whose name appears on the Working Families primary ballot today. Voters will choose Moriarty or Amy Hope Witryol, whom the statewide party endorsed months ago.

Moriarty is a “Republican stalking horse (who) did not walk his own petitions, did not respond to press inquiries, and did not even respond to the invitation to a respected candidate forum. He hasn’t run a campaign at all,” Schuh said in a press release from the party. “(Moriarty is) only in the race to derail the Working Families Party from being able to select our candidate.”

Jesse Lenney, who was a member of the endorsing committee that interviewed Moriarty, said Wednesday that he questioned Moriarty’s true interest in running for state Senate. He claimed that Moriarty openly said he was pursuing the party line upon the encouragement, and request, of a friend — North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, a Republican. 

Moriarty “didn’t seem very interested in the Working Families (platform). ... It was clear to us in the interview (that) he wasn’t interested in the seat, he was doing a favor for a friend,” Lenney said.

Ortt flatly denied asking Moriarty to run.

“I’ve never had a discussion with Tim about running for any office. He’s certainly not running as a favor to me,” Ortt said Wednesday night. “I know Tim, but not real well, certainly not well enough to have encouraged him to run for office. The only person I support in this race is Senator Maziarz.”

Moriarty did not return a call seeking comment on his candidacy and the WF endorsement interview. He hasn’t returned any phone calls from Greater Niagara Newspapers, or seemingly any other media, since he became a candidate.

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