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Green Stepping Down As Head Of County Democratic Party

Norm Green

The long-time head of the Chautauqua County Democratic Party is stepping down.

Norm Green has sent a letter to the county Democratic Executive Committee saying that Friday will be his last day in his current position. “Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas is aware of my retirement and as the vice chair of our party county committee, is prepared to take over his duties as acting Chautauqua County Committee chair, while remaining first vice chair,” he said in his letter.

Green most recently unsuccessfully for county executive. In his letter to the committee, he said he didn’t necessarily want to be county executive, but felt it was important for the party that he run. “…we needed a candidate and even though it wasn’t in my personal plans, my party was again calling me to do a job and I answered the call. During my tenure as party chair, I alone successfully recruited Ron Johnson, Mike Ferguson and Rich Morrisroe. I was damned if I was going to leave the Democratic line go dark in 2021,” he said.

All three candidates lost to their Republican counterpart.

Green highlighted the election of state Supreme Court Justice Grace Hanlon, a Chautauqua County resident who took office Jan. 1. She’s the first state Supreme Court Justice from Chautauqua County in more than 30 years. Green worked with Chuck DeAngelo to get her cross-endorsed by both the Democratic and Republican parties. “With Grace Hanlon’s total commitment to doing the work needed, we navigated the stacked political system and did what no one said was possible by the swearing in of Chautauqua County’s own resident justice. I was humbled by the accolades delivered before a room full of Hanlon family, friends, friends of the court and sitting judges that recognized my decades of successful work to deliver a resident justice to our own county,” he said in his letter.

Over the last couple of years, Green clashed with the county legislature’s minority caucus. Along with serving as the county committee chairman, Green was the Democratic Election Commissioner. When Green announced he was retiring from his position as election commissioner, he sought to have Luz Torres take that position. She had been his deputy for several years, but the minority caucus instead wanted to have Loren Kent take the position. Kent had been the long-time secretary for the county committee. The issue went to court and eventually Torres won the seat.

“The Chautauqua County Democratic Committee successfully defended its majority choice and recommendation of Luz Torres in NY Supreme Court. The of New York State was followed. It was certainly a low point having internal fighting, but truth and the law matters and Luz is doing a great job,” Green said.

Since that fallout, Legislator Chuck Nazzaro of Jamestown, who served as the minority leader, has retired. Bob Bankoski of Dunkirk has taken his place. “The elevation of Bob Bankoski to minority leader hopefully will bring a return of the loyal opposition in county government. I wish him well,” Green said.

See the full story in Wednesday’s OBSERVER and Post-Journal.

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