Niagara Falls School Board Member Johnny Destino is circulating petitions to run as a Democrat against GOP State Sen.
"We're collecting signatures right now so we'll probably announce in a couple of weeks," Destino
told the Niagara Falls Reporter
In 2012, Maziarz defeated Destino
in the Republican primary, walking off with about 70 percent of the vote.
This week, Maziarz characterized Destino
as a "glutton for punishment."
At the time of his 2012 primary loss to Maziarz, Destino was coming off a 2011 defeat to Democratic incumbent Paul Dyster in the race for mayor of Niagara Falls.
The Maziarz-led Republican Party invested $25,000 in financial support for Destino
in that campaign but didn't finish the job even though it appeared Destino
was closing strong
After his loss to Maziarz, Destino
became a Democrat.
told the Reporter that the Democratic candidate who ran against Maziarz in both the 2010 and 2012 elections -- Amy Hope Witryol -- has decided against another campaign this season.
"I spoke with her a month ago and she said she's not running," Destino
said of Witryol.
is not seeking support from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community or many of the other liberal organizations that traditionally support Democratic candidates in New York State.
conservative values remain intact.
"This isn't about that," Destino
Destino said the fact he was a School Board member had nothing to do with it.
"The secretary position requires a high school diploma and two years of secretarial experience," he
As far as Destino
is concerned, the Niagara County Democratic Party may be split, with the faction headed by Dyster unlikely to lend Destino
"Dennis is at the forefront of the reform movement in Niagara County, getting rid of George's people," Destino
declined to comment on the amount of money he
hoped to raise, where it will come from, or whether he
will have to encourage liberal Democrats who share few of his
political ideals to contribute, Destino
not worried about the more than $1 million Maziarz has in his
campaign war chest.
"Maziarz will need that for the legal costs he'll face when he retires," Destino
admitted that he
is counting on a strong anti-Maziarz sentiment to get him to Albany.
"I got 30 percent of the vote in the Republican primary two years ago not because all those people liked me, but because they didn't like Maziarz," he