Tonawanda News

August 14, 2013

NT GOP seeks labor party line

By Michael Regan michael.regan@tonawanda-news.com
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Two candidates for the North Tonawanda City Attorney position will face off in a September primary for the Working Families Party line. 

The incumbent, Republican Shawn Nickerson, submitted petitions this week as he competes for the line against rival Democrat Joshua Dubs, who received the Working Families Party endorsement earlier this year. 

The labor-backed party typically endorses Democrats, providing candidates with a coveted extra ballot line in the general election.

Dubs expressed disappointment in an interview about Nickerson’s decision to enter the primary, framing it as a means to “steal the line away.” 

“I had hoped that my opponent would be more respectful of the Working Families Party, and the hard work they put into their endorsement processes,” Dubs said. 

However, Nickerson countered on Tuesday that the final decision should be left to the party’s members in North Tonawanda, rather than through the endorsement of the party’s hierarchy. 

“My position is that the voters should decide,” he said. “Leave it up to them and let them have the final say.” 

Dubs, however, said that unlike Nickerson he went through a the process of qualifying as a candidate through the Working Families line, including interviews and a background check conducted by the party’s leadership that involved “what tenets of the party’s platform I espouse,” including a strong pro-union stance. 

He also noted that he will not challenge Nickerson on for the Independence and Conservative party endorsements, which Nickerson received in June. 

“If my opponent wanted the endorsement of the Working Families Party, why didn’t he apply for it, sit down with the leadership, and answer their questions like the rest of us did?” Dubs asked. 

Two other North Tonawanda Republicans have entered the fray as well to force Working Families primaries. Democrat-turned Republican Bob Clark, who was selected last week to fill out the term of retired Councilwoman Nancy Donovan, will run against Beverly Loxterman, an endorsed Democrat, for the Working Families Party line during the Sept. 10 primary.

Third Ward Alderman Eric Zadzilka will also vie against Darlene Bolsover, an independent who has been endorsed by the city's Democratic Committee. 

Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.