Candidates Geoffrey M. Szymanski, left, and Dion J. Watkins
were celebrating at their campaign headquarters Tuesday night.
Teacher, pastor and political neophyte Dion J. Watkins
rocked the Lackawanna political establishment Tuesday by polling to within a single vote of Second Ward Councilman Geoffrey M. Szymanski, the Lackawanna Democratic committee's endorsed candidate for mayor.
An unofficial tally by the Erie County Board of Elections
had Szymanski leading Watkins by 1,468 to 1,467 votes.
"I said it would be an election night like none other," Watkins
"By no means is it over yet, but I'm done," said Jaworski, the City Council president, who was expected more than Watkins to give Szymanski a strong challenge.
Some Szymanski supporters said late Tuesday they received word that Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown and Grassroots, a political group from Buffalo's East Side, had a hand in rallying voters from Lackawanna's First Ward, which has a large African-American population, to vote for Watkins, who is black.
But Watkins, 31, said the Buffalo mayor was not involved in his campaign.
"There were some Grassroots people who reached out to us," he
Watkins, who aside from being voted president of the Lackawanna senior class of 1997 hasn't sought elective office, is pastor of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in the First Ward.
He's spent 11 years as a teacher in the Lackawanna School District.
is an intelligent and very influential man.
Why is it that there is references made to his
race in the article?
is Black, educated and qualified to be mayor of Lackawanna
And furthermore the citizens of the first ward whether Black, White, Hispanic, Arabic etc are very familiar with Dion Watkins
we KNOW him to be a man of integrity so therefore there wouldn't be a need for anyone to come out and rally voters on his
done that himself through his his
everyday interactions with the people he
comes in contact with no matter their race!!
is Black, White or Purple the focus should have been on the fact that he
was so influential that he
was able to generate such a voter turnout from the first ward.
Does it matter that they were African American, all that should have mattered was they voted.
Every time there is an election there is always a call for voters to come out.
But now since this young "Black" man (which is continually pointed out) was able to generate these kinds of numbers, he
had to have help.
When this is all said and done, Mr. Watkins will be the new Mayor of the City of Lackawanna and the much needed changes will be done.
Why would Lackawanna
want to elect Watkins
lives in Hanburg, NY!