CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Democratic leaders from Western New York flew out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport Saturday morning to get to New Hampshire just days ahead of the presidential primary there.
News 4 caught up with Erie County Democratic Party Chair Jeremy Zellner before he headed back through security to get on a plane.
He said he was looking forward to learning more about where the candidates stand.
“I’m not behind anyone at this point, but I’m looking for the strongest candidate that’s going to find the issues that matter most to Western New Yorkers,” he explained.
Zellner, along with Chautauqua County Democratic Party Chair Norman Green, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, and other local Democrats will attend the New Hampshire State Democratic Party’s 100 Club dinner Saturday night.
“There will be thousands of people there, all of the candidates are going to be there. I’m really traveling there to see what’s happening on the ground in the first-in-the-nation primary,” Zellner said.
“All weekend there’s activity going on,” he added. “People are talking about it on the street corners. You can walk into a restaurant and you see a candidate. You wake up in the morning and go down to have coffee in the hotel and there’s a candidate having coffee next to you.”
There are still a lot of Democratic candidates in the running.
Seven took the stage for Friday night’s debate in New Hampshire.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg notably is skipping over the New Hampshire primary to focus more on the Super Tuesday states which vote in march.
New York’s primary isn’t until April, but Zellner says he’s hopeful Western New York voters will have an impact on the decision about which Democrat will move on to face President Donald Trump in the general election.
He says it’s critical that Democrats come together behind whoever that candidate turns out to be.
“Because we know what we’re up against,” Zellner said. “We’re up against someone who’s just torn this country apart and not fulfilled his promises to our community, so we really need someone to come and take Donald Trump out this year, so I hope there’s not division at the end.”
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz arrived in New Hampshire ahead of Friday’s debate. He is working with Elizabeth Warren’s campaign there.
After New Hampshire voters head to the polls Tuesday, Nevada and South Carolina will also have their primary elections later this month.
New York’s primary is April 28.