Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The sudden retirement of state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, came as a shock to most of the politicians who serve eastern Niagara County, who had no idea the senator was planning not to run for re-election.
While surprised by the announcement, Lockport Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey said that Maziarz had been a strong advocate for the City of Lockport for many years and wished the senator and his wife well in retirement.
“I’m pleased to see Mayor Ortt will be running for the seat and look forward to working with him in the future,” she said.
William L. Ross, chairman of the Niagara County Legislature, said Maziarz was a true “24-hour politician.”
“He was always good at getting to events,” he said. “If I went to three, he went to seven. I’ll never figure out how he did it all.”
Maziarz was also able to connect with residents, no matter who they were, Ross said.
“He had availability no matter what your social and economic status was,” he said. “He knew how to treat people with respect.”
Lockport Town Supervisor Marc R. Smith said he was happy for Maziarz, but sad for what it means for the area.
“He was such an effective and strong leader,” he said.
Royalton Town Supervisor Jennifer Bieber also expressed some concern over what having a 19-year senator step down would mean for eastern Niagara County.
“Seniority brings great things to the area,” she said. “We’re going to lose that. Whoever replaces him will start out at the bottom as a junior senator. That’s the reality of it.”
Ross shared similar concerns about losing a high ranking senator in Niagara County, but added that the right person should be able to move up quickly.
“There are concerns there,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any question about that.”