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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert McCarthy joined The Buffalo News in 1982 and has been political reporter since 1992. A native of Schenectady, he graduated from St. Bonaventure University.


Local News

After more than a year of hoopla surrounding a field that once boasted more than 20 Democratic candidates, the 2020 presidential campaign is about to launch in New York State. Designating petitions for the April 28 presidential primary will begin circulating?Dec. 31, with several candidates already organizing local teams to kick off the process. But like questions doggi…

Local News

A decadelong effort to attract nonstop trans-Atlantic flights to Buffalo Niagara International Airport is entering a crucial phase as government officials join the business community to seek some kind of state incentive for foreign airlines. Those involved decline to reveal specifics because of the competition from other airports seeking the same service. But officials …

Columns

’Twas three days before Christmas, And all through the House Not a Republican had voted To put Trump on the outs. The Democrats all squawked With their usual flair, To say Trump must go ’Cuz the Ukrainian affair. But Repubs are all nestled In the Senate still red, While second-term visions Dance in their heads. The call to Zelensky, Say all of Trump’s b…

Business

Buffalo’s Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Terminal is on the way toward reclaiming its legacy as a bustling center of waterfront activity. Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority commissioners on Thursday awarded "pre-development rights” to the Savarino Cos. of Buffalo for redeveloping the second floor of the cavernous train shed at the foot of Main Street. …

Local News

Nathan McMurray appears to have wrapped up the Democratic nomination for an anticipated special election to fill the vacant congressional seat in the 27th District. Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner on Wednesday ended any effort to consider an alternate candidate by indicating his committee will support McMurray, the outgoing Grand Island supervisor who …

Columns

It’s a fairly safe bet that Assemblyman Steve Hawley has never paid dues to the Mike Bloomberg Fan Club, let alone jumped aboard the former mayor of New York’s new presidential campaign. The Republican legislator from Genesee County didn’t merit the Conservative Party’s 92% rating by backing Bloomberg’s gun control or anti-big soda measures. But like the former mayor…

Local News

The New York State Republican Party has made good on its threat to sue Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo over failing to call a special election for the vacant seat of former Rep. Chris Collins, labeling it a “violation of the constitutional and civil rights” of voters in the 27th Congressional District. The party on Wednesday filed suit against Cuomo and the State Board of Election…

Local News

Republican Assemblyman Steve Hawley is attracting new attention as a potential compromise candidate in the 27th Congressional District to head off an internal battle almost certain to inflict deep wounds in the Western New York GOP. Three sources with knowledge of the situation say the Genesee County political veteran has been discussing a candidacy with party leaders i…

Local News

When Republican Michael H. Ranzenhofer announced Friday he will retire from the State Senate in 2020, he jump-started all kinds of political maneuvering with vast ramifications locally and in Albany, too. It took only the weekend for two Democrats – Amherst Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa and businesswoman Joan Elizabeth Seamans – to enter the succession discussion. And Melod…

Local News

If the Conservative Party bestows any “badge of honor” on New York politicians, it might be its perfect score of 100% when assessing?State Legislature votes. And if you’re campaigning for the Republican and Conservative nods in the state’s "reddest" congressional district, no badge may shine brighter. That’s why Republican State Sen. Robert G. Ortt of North Tonawanda…

Columns

News and views on politics around here: ? Since his first election to the Assembly in 1976, Robin Schimminger served as a mainstay for Erie County Democrats. He declared his candidacy, ran his campaign, and won – always. Now Schimminger’s retirement sets unfamiliar political dominoes in motion. At the moment, Jeremy Zellner looms as the prohibitive favorite for th…

Local News

Transit planners are now 0-for-3 trying to obtain $25 million from the federal government to extend Metro Rail into the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Terminal and transform its vacant second floor into a public market and gathering space. The U.S. Department of Transportation last month again denied the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s application…

Local News

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo offered a solution Tuesday to Republican complaints about his expected plan for a 27th Congressional District special election on April 28. Speaking with reporters following his appearance at Buffalo’s Northland Workforce Training Center, Cuomo reiterated concerns that an unscheduled election could cost taxpayers as much as $1 million. “If they w…

Local News

Democratic congressional hopeful Melodie Baker officially launched her campaign for the 27th Congressional District’s Democratic nomination Monday, even as opponent Nate McMurray appears to have sewn up backing from most county leaders. Baker, director of education for the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, declared her candidacy during a late afternoon event at Cla…

Columns

Nick Langworthy is obviously enjoying himself. Since assuming the helm of the New York State GOP back in July, the former Erie County party chief shows up most days somewhere between Ripley and Montauk. He can probably recite the exact location of Thruway milepost 227.1. A few days ago, Langworthy need only walk around an Albany corner from his State Street headquart…