LAKEWOOD – Paul “PJ” Wendel, Chairman of the Chautauqua County Legislature, announced his candidacy for County Executive just hours after now New York State Senator George Borrello announced he left office.
“After a great deal of thought and consideration with my wife and family, and with overwhelming support from residents throughout the County, I want to serve as our next Chautauqua County Executive,” Wendel said in a statement to WNYNewsNow.
The Republican was first elected to the Legislature 2012, having served, Wendel feels the time he served in the legislature has provided him a great opportunity to not only work with an amazing legislature, but also many of the department heads who work on the day to day operations of the County.
Wendel has been Chairman of the Legislature for the past 2 years. Having previously chaired the Public Safety Committee, he says he was instrumental in implementing the Chautauqua County EMS Fly Car system.
This initiative has saved countless lives throughout Chautauqua County and he is very proud to be a leader in the creation of that program Wendel has also been a member of the Administrative Services and Audit and Control Committees.
He also served as a Co-Chair of the now titled Community Justice Committee (formerly the Criminal Justice Council); he looked at ways to divert our jail population and provide them with life skills and the abilities to return as a productive member of our community.
“My commitment in government began in 2007 as a Trustee for the Lakewood Village, the last two years of my five-year term was spent as Deputy Mayor,” Wendel explained. “With ties to many different sectors of the counties workforce, police and fire agencies, civic and community organizations I will use these community relationships to tap into the many great people and leaders here in Chautauqua County, to bring our county forward in sustainable housing, and to increase sustainable jobs to keep families here in Chautauqua County.”
Wendel has a B. S degree In Physical Education / Teacher Certification from SUNY Brockport, a MSS in Sports studies and Exercise Science from the United States Sports Academy, and a Med, from Edinboro University in Educational Leadership. He currently sit as a member of the International Federation of Celtic Wrestling, and was recently inducted to the Brockport State Athletic Hall of Fame.
On Monday, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello was seated as the New York State Senator for the 57th District.
Borrello recently won the election to fill the seat, which was vacated by former Senator Catharine Young earlier this year.
County Attorney Stephen Abdella will serve as the Acting County Executive until a new county executive is confirmed by the County Legislature within 45 days.
Under a modification to the County’s Charter adopted earlier this year, the county committee of the same political party as the county executive leaving office must nominate the successor for the County Legislature’s confirmation.
The successor shall serve until a county executive is chosen at the 2020 general election to fill the remaining year of Borrello’s unexpired term in 2021.