A former Republican Niagara County Legislature candidate will take another run at elected office in 2021.
David Zajac has announced he will now seek a seat on the Niagara Falls City Council. Zajac says he will seek both the Republican and Conservative party endorsements.
There are three open seats on the council this year, with two incumbents seeking a new office and one retiring.
Zajac, who ran a competitive race for the county legislature against 15-term incumbent Democrat Dennis Virtuoso in 2019, said he believes that experience will help him in a citywide campaign. The registered Republican is looking to re-establish a GOP majority on the council.
That majority was lost in January when Council Chair Kenny Tompkins changed his party affiliation to Independent.
“My experience showed me the positives that truly can come from running for public office,” Zajac said. “Meeting many people from the (legislative) district face-to-face while discussing their concerns first hand, were parts of campaigning that left a lasting effect on me."
Zajac has a degree in criminal justice from Erie Community College and has been employed by the Niagara County Department of Social Service since 2016.
He is also the assistant coach for the Erie Community College men’s bowling team and has served on the board of directors of the Niagara Falls Bowling Association since 2013.
A life-long resident of the Falls, Zajac grew up on the city's east side. His family owned Zajac Funeral Home Inc., on 24th Street.
He is the youngest of five children.
“As the youngest in a big family, I am fortunate to have grown up with many hard working role models that I was able to learn from," Zajac said. "From my grandparents on the Zajac and Piwowarczyk sides, all the way down to my siblings, they have all taught me a great deal of things."
Zajac said he is looking to "empower our community" against "unsustainable policy and more than a decade of irresponsible fiscal management."
“I will work diligently to ensure that our best interests as taxpayers are put first and that any legislation would be to our benefit as a whole,” Zajac said. “For too long, our residents and business owners have carried the burden of some of the highest taxes and new fees thrust upon them due to the lack of fiscal responsibility by those elected to supposedly have their best interests in mind.”
Zajac said that for too long, city government has ignored "systemic" problems that have plagued the Falls.
“We cannot afford to stay 30,000 feet above the underlying problems and think things will change for the better,” he said. “In order for the community to grow, our tax base has to grow. That means we need to find solutions that address poverty, crime, and population at the same time. It’s no longer a Republican or Democrat issue, it’s a Niagara Falls issue, which I will work endlessly to resolve.”
Quoting former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Zajac said as city council member he will look to transform the Falls.
“President Reagan famously referenced a ‘shining city on a hill.’ I believe with lots of hard work and cooperation with my fellow elected officials that represent our city, we can make Niagara Falls that shining city for generations to come," Zajac said. "“I want to work for you today to ensure a better tomorrow. I am in this race to work for you, to be your voice in city hall.”