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NOV 05 - NOV 12, 2015

Choolokian Candidacy Mattered Less Than Public Apathy in Dyster Win

Anna Howard

NOV 05, 2015

Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Choolokian
John Accardo
Niagara Falls official caught trying to save Niagara Falls.

Glenn Choolokian had every right to continue his candidacy in this week’s mayoral election.

There. I said it. Niagara Falls Reporter writer Mike Hudson has summed up the feelings of many here in his article, which portrays Choolokian as the “spoiler” in the race, which was won by two term incumbent Mayor Paul Dyster with less than 50 percent of the vote.

The Monday morning quarterbacks here argue that, by staying in the race, Choolokian split the anti-Dyster vote and handed the victory to the man he’d characterized previously as one of the worst mayors in the city’s history.

That may be true. We can never know for certain.

But the fact that he had the right to do what he did cannot be argued. We live in a democracy. After losing the Democratic primary election to Dyster by around 60 votes, Choolokian truly believed he had a shot to win in the general with his write in candidacy.

What stuns me personally is that, after eight years of decline and nearly $200 million of casino cash squandered, 47 percent of the voting public saw another four years of Mayor Paul Dyster as a viable option for the city.

The failed Hamister hotel deal and the moribund AquaFalls project are but two examples of an administration that cannot manage to attract significant private development even when it throws scads of taxpayer money at the developers.

After the election, the mayor went so far as to tell reporters that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion program, which is now under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, would be the magic bullet that will lead to the city’s revitalization.

"The best is still ahead here, with our participation in the Buffalo Billion, all the economic development that is going on in Niagara Falls, these next four years are going to be a great time to be mayor in this city," Dyster said.

And the mayor’s shocking and disgraceful handling of the 72nd Street debacle, where more than 200 families spent two winters without running water because of a problem caused directly by a repaving project he directed speaks for itself.

The French philosopher Joseph de Maistre once wrote that people get the government they deserve. In Niagara Falls, Tuesday’s election results bore this out.

It is not Glenn Choolokian’s fault.

For John Accardo, Tuesday marked the third time he has tried and failed to become the mayor of Niagara Falls.

"Some things in life are just not meant to be. I'll accept that fact now I guess that I'm never going to be mayor of Niagara Falls," Accardo said. "That's something I really wanted to do and I wanted to do it for the right reasons, but that's just not going to happen."

Accardo said the results of the vote will be apparent before the end of Dyster’s next term.

"Quite honestly, I think in another two or three years, there is going to be a control board, here in Niagara Falls because the numbers just don't add up. I think there are going to be a lot of people out of work and the city is going to lose a lot of services."

 Accardo said public apathy was at the root of the Dyster victory.

"The public didn't care,” he said.






Divided Opposition Gives Dyster Four More Years
Two Years, Two Boats, Too Bad for New York
Dyster's Niagara Falls "Victory" Owes Much to Spoiler Choolokian, So Thanks
Choolokian Candidacy Mattered Less Than Public Apathy in Dyster Win
Elections Are Rigged Which Is Why 100% of Incumbents Won
If You Want Cheap Electricity, Condemn NYPA!
Jury Nullification Has Long History of Righting Wrong Laws
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