Tonawanda News

September 10, 2008

26TH DISTRICT: Kryzan stuns the boys

By Joyce Miles<br><a href="mailto:milesj@gnnewspaper.com">E-mail Joyce</a>

The nice gal finished first.

Despite having the lowest profile and raising and spending the least of all the contestants, Alice Kryzan took the Democratic line in the three-way party primary for U.S. House 26th district Tuesday night.

Kryzan, an environmental attorney from Eggertsville, sailed past party boss-backed candidate Jonathan Powers — and fairly crushed wealthy industrialist Jack Davis — in the primary crossing seven Western New York counties.

Kryzan won handily in Niagara, Erie and Monroe counties. Powers won the party vote in Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming and Livingston counties but his raw numbers weren’t enough to overcome Kryzan’s suburban advantage.

Davis, who ran his third campaign in three election cycles, didn’t win any counties. Davis had loaned his campaign $1 million over a six-week period, after campaigning heavily on a promise not to accept donations from anyone, particularly political action committees, multinational corporations or lobbyists.

The primary was easily one of the most watched in all of New York state, as Powers and Davis each poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into political advertising that turned frankly vicious as Primary Day grew nearer.

Kryzan said she interprets the election results as a voters’ call for candidates to stick to legitimate issues.

“People are looking for serious candidates who will deal with serious issues; candidates who let voters know who she is, what she’s done and where she stands,” Kryzan said. “I think people find that refreshing.”

Kryzan said she knows little of the views of Christopher Lee, the Republican who she’ll face in the November election to fill the seat being vacated by long-time incumbent Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence.

Regardless, she put out the call to Lee on Tuesday night to stick to issues-oriented campaigning with her.

“I hope we can talk about problems and solutions,” Kryzan said. “I hope we can conduct an issues-oriented campaign that lets voters decide (who to vote for) on the issues.”

Separately, Lee issued a news release late Tuesday congratulating Kryzan and saying he too favors an issues-oriented contest.

With the primary result, it appears Davis is down for the count again, since he has no minor or independent ballot lines to take into the November race. His self-created Save Jobs and Farm Party was disqualified by the state Board of Elections last week, reportedly because Davis did not sign papers to accept the party’s “nomination” after paid canvassers obtained about 7,000 resident signatures to allow the line.

Powers is endorsed by the Working Families party, which means he goes to the general election on that line.

Neither the Powers nor Davis campaigns returned calls for comment about the primary result late Tuesday.

District-wide Democratic voter turnout was 16 percent. Absentee ballots won’t be counted until next week.