Dale Volker Retiring

29 Apr

About three hours ago, my phone exploded with text messages from everyone sending me tips on a “major announcement by State Senator Dale Volker” tomorrow.  In one of the worst kept local secrets, Volker is set to announce that he will not be seeking re-election in the 59th Senate District. In one of the other worst kept local secrets, Erie County Republican Chairman Jim Domagalski is scheduled to announce his candidacy for the seat within a week, perhaps as early as Saturday.  Volker and his million dollar staff will be heading for greener pastures.

The polling numbers I’ve seen for Dale have not been good as the anti-incumbency fervor seems to finally be overwhelming his name recognition advantage and ability to curry votes in the rural parts of his gerrymandered district.  In recent elections, Dale has had more trouble than expected holding on to the seat.

In the 2006 Republican Primary, Volker barely beat perennial candidate and general crazy person Len Roberto in Erie County, winning by a meager 400 votes.  Roberto lacked the resources or organization to compete with Dale in the far flung district and lost by a significant margin district wide.

In the 2006 General Election, Volker (with the advantage of two minor party lines) faced Democrat Tom Casey.  Casey, who ran a limited campaign, lost by a mere thousand votes to Volker in Erie County and was overwhelmed by the minor party lines and Volker’s superior resources in the rural counties.

In 2008, Volker lost the Erie County Republican Primary to Dave DiPietro but was able to take a demonstrable victory in Wyoming, Livingston and Orleans Counties to win the race.  Again, Volker just had more resources and a better organization than DiPietro had in this sizable district.

In the 2008 General Election against Kathy Konst, Volker again lost Erie County but he won the district by 11,000 votes, due to the the Conservative and IP lines.  Konst ran what amounted to a tire fire of a campaign and she did little outreach in the outer areas of SD-59, but she did beat Dale by 2,000 votes total in Erie County, even with the votes from his two minor party lines added into the final results.

With Dale’s recent weakness in Erie County and anti-incumbency fervor spreading in the rural districts, the writing was on the wall for Volker in 2010.  Along with the looming shadow of Domagalski, he already had an announced primary candidate as Dave DiPietro is back with tea party support and Carl Paladino’s money in his pocket.

With Domagalski and DiPietro fighting it out for three lines, a split ticket is a distinct possibility.  Dale Volker’s minor party line, name recognition and fundraising advantages are now split between two Republicans.  Will a legitimate Democrat get involved in the race?

A Democrat can win in this district, specifically a Democrat with an entrepreneurial background, military experience and an organization structured for outreach into the rural counties.

Who might that Democrat be?  Stay tuned…

7 Responses to “Dale Volker Retiring”

  1. Mark April 29, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    no one stands a chance vs. fatty mcbutterpants!

  2. Alan Bedenko April 30, 2010 at 7:35 am #


  3. Brian Castner April 30, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    I wonder. . . .

  4. Greg April 30, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    You’ve got my vote, Chris! 🙂

  5. Mark Poloncarz April 30, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Hmmm, indeed . . .Half of Orangeville in Wyoming County are old So. Buffalo dems, so that’s a start.

  6. Sean C. April 30, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    The News thought my comment distasteful …. The dump it took yesterday (my post was removed today but posted yesterday) has done more for Albany than this shell of a human. After 35… thirty-FIVE years in the NYS senate he has assembled a staff “worth” $1,500,000.00. Does anyone know if his constituents cover that in taxes?

    Can you guys dig up that WNYmedia video of Don Esmonde calling Volker out at the 190 toll removal press conference? He tried to take credit and Don reminded him that he is useless.

    • Marc Odien April 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

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