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Talking Allegany County politics with NPR affilate WBFO Buffalo/Toronto


Read or listen to Andrew Harris talk with WBFO’s Grant Ashley about the upcoming election

Harris: “It was nice to have Allegany County politics be of interest to a larger market”


Read a portion of the transcript below or listen via this link:

Most elected officials in Allegany County aren’t sweating their reelection this year.

Of the 158 races on the ballot in the county this year, only 11 are contested, according to The Olean Times Herald. The long list of unopposed candidates includes the incumbent county clerk and county attorney general, who are both expected to cruise to reelection.

But the handful of contested races on the ballot are worth following. They’re closely matched, highly controversial, or both, and a few will shape the future of some of the county’s small towns. WBFO’s Grant Ashley sat down with Andrew Harris of the Wellsville Sun to discuss the political landscape and future of Allegany County. You can listen to their conversation by hitting the ‘Listen’ button or read a transcript of it below.

WBFO: So I want to start by talking about the lack of contested races in Allegany County. There’s 158 elections, and only 11 of them are contested. Do you have a sense of why there are so few contested elections this year?

Harris: Well, I think it’s somewhat a function of being an off-cycle year. It’s hard to get excited about politics when there’s not a presidential or a gubernatorial election attached to it. In general, though, I think Allegany County public service positions are — it’s very hard to find people to do the work for a couple of reasons. I think the main reason is “small town syndrome,” where it’s very difficult in this day and age to put yourself out on the chopping block with social media and seeing everybody at the grocery store as well.

WBFO: Yeah, and there are several county level positions that are going uncontested, including the district attorney’s race. Is that right?

Harris: The district attorney is uncontested. I don’t remember the last time it was a contested race. In this case, I think the reason is really simple: Ian Jones is an extremely strong candidate. I can’t imagine anybody who would want to run against him, because it’s almost a universal understanding that he would be great at the job. He’s been an assistant district attorney and done a very strong job at that. And so, there’s no way you’re going to beat Ian Jones. He’s as good as it gets.

Read the full interview here:

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