On Monday, Chrissy Casilio made her bid for the office of Erie County Executive public. Daughter of Clarence Town Supervisor Patrick Casilio, the 36-year-old Christina Casilio will run against incumbent Mark Poloncarz. “I believe we will win because you will not find a greater contrast to Mark Poloncarz than me,” Casilio said.
A week after the Democrats in Erie County nominated Poloncarz for an unprecedented fourth term, the county’s Republican Party backed Casilio. Right after declaring her candidature, the challenger began attacking her rival.
“I’m not here today because I desire to amass power and serve a select few,” she said. “I’m not here to further a political career built on intimidation. I’m not a professional politician running for a fourth term because I have nowhere else to go.”
When asked about the county administration’s handling of the blizzard in December, Casilio singled out a lack of transparency in an exclusive interview with 2 On Your Side.
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“He didn’t own the mistakes that he made,” Casilio said of Poloncarz. “He did not show unity with the federal government, and instead of the headlines being about how we persevered, the headlines were that our county executives and our government were fighting and mismanaging and him not taking any accountability.”
But, it is precisely this lack of openness that has led some to question Casilio’s honesty. After Casilio participated in a conversation wherein rumors of Damar Hamlin’s death were circulated, she decided to make her Twitter profile private.
As Casilio, who owns a marketing agency, put it, “I think that the people had a right to question why there was such little access or why we didn’t get to see in the security and all of those different things,” “Like I said, just from the PR perspective, I would have done it differently.”
Casilio thinks she can make up for her lack of political experience by striking a different tone than her opponents. “Success, for me, would be for people to feel like they trust the government again. That would be a success,” she said.
On Monday, Democratic challenger Nate McMurray also declared his intention to withdraw from the campaign, making Poloncarz the only Democratic contender as of tonight’s election.