Niagara County GOP Bids Ceretto Adieu

by / Aug. 18, 2015 5pm EST

Niagara County GOP Chairman James Heuer said he isn’t too worried about Assemblyman John Ceretto’s decision to defect to the Democratic Party.

“I think our party is as strong as it ever has been and it will continue to be strong,” Heuer said in a phone interview Tuesday morning.

Ceretto, who was first elected to the Lewiston town board as a Democrat, later won a seat on the Niagara County Legislature with GOP backing. In 2006, the year he joined the county legislature, he switched his party affiliation to Republican.

This morning he officially announced his decision to switch back to being a Democrat and caucus with the party.

Ceretto told the Buffalo News he believes the change will give him a stronger voice in the Democrat dominated Assembly.

“This is a good move for the people of my district, and that’s what it’s about,” he said to the News.

Heuer said he had not spoken with Ceretto before the news broke that he would be leaving the party.

“I heard rumors, but we had no conversation at all,” Heuer said.

Heuer said the switch will have little effect on his party’s standing in the state Legislature and that the party will work with the Republican-controlled Senate, as they have for years through GOP State Senator Rob Ortt and his predecessor, former State Senator George Maziarz.

“We’ll continue to get things done the way we have been in the past,” he said.