Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 1, 2013

LEGISLATURE RACES: O'Laughlin challenging Ross in Second District


Niagara Gazette — A registered Republican, O’Laughlin will appear on this year’s ballot on the Democratic Party line. He said he still believes in Republican ideals, but does not agree with the direction of the local GOP. O’Laughlin lost his bid to secure the Republican line in the September primary.

“I think you should vote for the right person and the right cause, but you need a major party to help get you in there,” O’Laughlin said, explaining his decision to accept the Democratic Party’s endorsement. 

Ross, a registered Conservative, won the Republican Primary and will also appear on the ballot on the Conservative, Independence and Working Families party lines in November. 

While the “need for change” has been a popular theme among challengers for county seats this year, Ross said he believes his record shows he’s done a good job of representing the interests of his constituents throughout his tenure. 

“It’s only a change for the better if the person in the position isn’t doing anything,” he said. “I work hard everyday. Take a look at my record, take a look at my attendance and take a look at what we’ve achieved.”

Bill Ross (Incumbent) • AGE: 79 • OCCUPATION: Retired from Niagara-Wheatfield School District where he served for 47 years as a school administrator. • EDUCATION/MILITARY SERVICE: Master's degree in education from Michigan State University, with certification in school district administration from the University at Buffalo. Served U.S. Army ROTC, active reserve for 28 years, retired as lieutenant colonel. • POLITICAL AFFILIATION: Registered Conservative • ENDORSEMENTS: Niagara County Republican, Conservative and Independence parties. • COMMUNITY: President Wheatfield Lion's Club, past president Town of Niagara Lion's Club, member of Niagara Falls Rotary, past president Mount St. Mary's board of directors. • FAMILY: Married, father of three Sean O'Laughlin (Challenger) • AGE: 57 • OCCUPATION: Purchasing manager at Unifrax in Niagara Falls • EDUCATION: Associate's degree in business administration from Niagara County Community College, bachelor's degree in economics from the State University College at Buffalo and masters in business administration from Niagara University. • POLITICS: Registered Republican, endorsed by county Democrats. • COMMUNITY: Member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish. Has worked on fundraising campaigns for United Way of Niagara for two decades. Long-time supporter of Niagara Cerebral Palsy (NCP), serving as board member and treasurer. NCP Family of the Year Award in 2011 and the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2012. • FAMILY: Married, father of three.

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