Erie County Comptroller removed himself from the running for the special election in NY’s 26th Congressional District, leaving Kathy Hochul firmly in the drivers’ seat amongst Democratic candidates.

Poloncarz’ letter to the Democratic chairmen (text below) basically said he has to keep his current job to protect Erie County from Chris Collins.

March 3, 2011

Erie County Democratic Chairman Len Lenihan
Genesee County Democratic Chairwoman Lorie Longhany
Livingston County Democratic Chairwoman Judith Hunter By E-mail Only
Monroe County Democratic Chairman Joe Morelle
Orleans County Democratic Chairwoman Jeanne Crane
Niagara County Democratic Chairman Dan Rivera
Wyoming County Democratic Chairman Hank Bush, Jr.
Working Families Party Chairman James Lakeman

Re: 26th Congressional District Special Election

Dear Chairpersons:

As you are aware, due to the resignation of Christopher Lee as the elected representative of 26th Congressional District, a special election is to be called to fill the remainder of Mr. Lee’s term. The chairpersons representing the counties within the 26th District will choose the candidate for the special election.

While I am flattered by the encouragement I have received from many of you to run, after conferring with my family and friends I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration to be the Democratic and Working Families Parties’ Candidate for the special election.

I make this decision not based on the demographics of the district, as some will surmise, because a Democratic candidate can win the special election, especially if a third party candidate should run. Instead, I can best represent the hard working men and women of Erie County by continuing to be their voice against the current county executive who is determined to destroy what makes this community the great place it is to live, work and raise a family.

During his first term in office Chris Collins raised taxes while reducing services, refused to spend $80 million of stimulus assistance and attempted to subvert the democratic process by ignoring the checks and balances required by state and local law. Additionally, he recently proposed amending state law to provide counties the right to refuse to provide eyeglasses and hearing aids to needy families on Medicaid, as well as announcing his support of efforts to deny working men and women collective bargaining rights.

As such, I withdraw my name from consideration for the 26th Congressional District special election to focus my efforts on being the voice for the hard working families of Erie County. I look forward to assisting your efforts to win the special election, and as always, if you have any questions please contact the undersigned at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Poloncarz

In truth, I’m not sure I completely buy Mark’s reasoning, but never a more entertaining withdrawal letter have I read.