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Destino May Challenge Ceretto for Assembly

John Ceretto
Johnny Destino
Robert Restaino
District map of the 145th District of the New York State Assembly

There is at least one possible Democratic contender with the potential to win back the 145th District seat in the New York State Assembly a seat now held by John Ceretto (R-Lewiston).

He is Johnny Destino, 37, who once was a Republican who is now a registered Democrat.

Ceretto, 61, ran against Democrat Robert Restaino in 2012 and, despite a heavy plurality of Democrats in his district, Ceretto clinched a narrow victory, the margin of difference seeming to come from a solid victory in Grand Island.

When Destino, a lawyer, ran as a Republican in the 2010 campaign for Niagara Falls mayor, he narrowly lost to Paul Dyster. In 2012, with the backing of Carl Paladino, who he then worked for, Destino ran for State Senate and was defeated by a large margin in a Republican primary against George Maziarz. Maziarz went on to win against Democrat Amy Hope Witryol in what could best be described as a landslide.

Destino is a member of the Niagara Falls School Board.

Ceretto, a former councilman for the Town of Lewiston, was first elected to the assembly in 2009 when he scored a surprise victory over Democrat John Accardo who had defeated 10-year incumbent, Francine Del Monte in the Democratic primary.

There are estimated to be 17 percent more Democrats in the district than Republicans.

Ceretto, who is known for his door-to door campaigning, appeals to crossover Democrats who are closer to Republican ideology than the ultra-liberal Manhattan Democrats who dominate the party in New York State.

Destino - a Catholic, with strong family values - can be described as a conservative Democrat.

When contacted by the Reporter, Destino declined to say whether he was going to run.

Ceretto, unlike Destino's last two opponents, Maziarz and Dyster, and Destino himself, is not known for negative campaigning.

Both Maziarz and Dyster are known to go negative with mailers, fliers, and robo calls. Dyster likes to do his negative campaigning anonymously using unsigned attack pieces.

Maziarz, on the other hand, when he hits hard, puts his name on every piece.

Destino said that, if he does run against Ceretto, he would like to run a positive campaign.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Feb 11, 2014