The county committee endorsed the following for the 2020 November election:

For Congress, the Democrats endorsed Brian Higgins for re-election to the 26th district seat and Nate McMurray for election to the 27th district seat.

For the New York State Assembly, Democrats endorsed Bill Conrad for the 140th district and Karen McMahon for the 146th district.

Michael Benedict was endorsed for Niagara County Judge over District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek, who will be seeking the Democratic nomination for that post.

“Our committee feels confident in Mike Benedict’s commitment to fairly upholding the law,” Zona said. “With Mike Benedict, the voters are being offered a candidate who has an ideal résumé for the job he’s seeking. It’s a natural ascension to this seat.”

Acting Sheriff Michael Filicetti was endorsed over Brian Grear, who will be running for the Democratic line in the primary.

Zona said Filicetti won the vote with “a decent majority” of the weighted vote, but that Grear still had a good amount of support.

“We expect there will be a primary for this post, and we wish both candidates well,” Zona said. “In the end, this was left to a vote of the committee members, and they indicated that they trust Mike Filicetti’s leadership and experience. But Brian Grear is also a capable lawman, and while the party is committed to Mike’s election, we know that Brian will offer a clean race and will bring a lot of ideas and energy to give voters the final say.”

John Ceretto II was endorsed for Niagara County District Attorney.

“John Ceretto II really has a firm grasp of the operations of the District Attorney’s Office after spending five years as Assistant DA,” Zona said. “He also has been successful in private practice, and will bring some fresh perspective to the office. He is a young, aggressive attorney that is not a political insider which is needed.”

Zona noted that although Ceretto is registered Independent, he will have the Democrats’ backing.

“Backing John Ceretto was an easy call for us,” Zona said. “We like that he has no political baggage. We want a DA who hires the best and brightest team of prosecutors based on their ability as attorneys, not their political allegiances. Niagara County will have that in John Ceretto.”

Cambria Town Justice Amel Jowdy III was also endorsed.

-Niagara Gazette, February 22, 2020 (