Tonawanda News —
He’ll face a formidable opponent in Maziarz who is consistently the top fundraiser in Niagara County politics each year.
Maziarz suggested Destino may have other motivations for entering the race, saying he’s been told his new opponent has been offered some type of job in exchange for his willingness to challenge him. Maziarz declined to elaborate, saying only that he’s ready to defend his record in office.
He said he’s most proud of his accomplishments in the area of job creation and touted his role in projects like Yahoo! in Lockport and the development of the new airport terminal in Niagara Falls.
As for the suggestion that he’s a “career politician” who has had his time, Maziarz said he has put his record on the line every two years since first being elected and is ready to do so again in 2012.
“I look forward to the challenge and will let the voters decide,” he said.
On Tuesday, Destino said he decided to enter the race against one of the most powerful men in Niagara County politics because the community has not been successful under the leadership of Maziarz and real change is needed to move the district forward.
“Everyone tells me that this race isn’t winnable, that George is too strong,” Destino said. “But what use is the political power and clout George has accumulated in the Senate when the only people who benefit from his more-than three decades in public office are his friends and family members?”
Destino said he decided to enter the race for a number of reasons, but said the vote to approve gay marriage in New York proved to be a tipping point. The controversial bill was approved last year with state Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Niagara Falls and Buffalo, casting the deciding vote in the Senate. Maziarz is supporting Grisanti in his re-election campaign this year.