Niagara Gazette — While disappointed that he will no longer be serving as city chairman, Houghton said he had no hard feelings and wished his successor well.
"Nick's a good guy," said Houghton. "He's a decent guy and an honest guy and he works very hard. I'm really fine with Nick."
Houghton was also a key player in the successful effort to secure a second term for Dyster and was a strong supporter of Laible as well. Houghton said he leaves the job with no big regrets.
"I know I worked very hard," Houghton said. "I tried to bring ethics to the situation. We tried to endorse candidates on their ideals and I'm not ashamed of anything I did as chair. I'm not saying everything I did was 100 percent right, but there's no glaring mistakes as far as I'm concerned."
Forster received the endorsement as chair from county Democrats during the party's annual reorganizational meeting. He assumed the top position from Jeremy Schnurr, a North Tonawanda attorney who had been serving in the role as interim chair. The final vote followed what was described as an at-times contentious meeting involving supporters for both Forster and Schnurr and several weeks of negative campaign aimed at preventing Forster from returning to the job he previously held from 1996 to 2002.
On Thursday, Forster said he believes the Democratic Party as a whole in Niagara County is beginning to move in a new and better direction after several years of failing to topple GOP candidates in key political posts, including the county and state legislatures.
"I think all of the sudden we have this Democratic fever going on," Forster said.
He described D'Aloise as the kind of "young, bright, energetic" person the party can build around.
"We're excited," Forster said. "There's a lot of what we call newbies on the committee matched with some of the old guard. I think our vision is set in the right direction."