MAYVILLE - Norman Green has been elected the new party chairman to lead the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee. It's the third such stint for Green, who also held the post in an acting role in 1981 and 2005.
"It's the job of the party to find people to run for office," the Democrat said Thursday. "Voters need choices, and there's too little people running. Voters deserve better."
Green, who also is the county Democratic election commissioner, received unanimous support for the two-year term. He replaces Keith Ahlstrom as committee chairman.
"It was just time for someone else to step up and be in charge," Ahlstrom, a county legislator representing Dunkirk, said. "I'm not even sure how many years I was (chairman), but it was long enough."
Green, meanwhile, said being chairman and election commissioner has its benefits, most notably when it comes to finding qualified candidates for municipal elections and getting them into office.
"I see it being parallel jobs," Green said, estimating that 25 percent of election commissioners in the state also are party leaders.
"You're supposed to be out there as chairman working for the voters and making sure the right person is running. Being (election commissioner) makes that job a lot easier."
Minority Leader Lori Cornell, D-Jamestown, said a strong election process starts with strong committee leaders.
"The better the candidate selection process, the more active and organized the campaign process, the better, more informed choices voters will have," Cornell said.
But Green noted there is plenty of work to do within the county to attract more interested candidates.
"My biggest criticisms is we don't have enough contested elections," he said. "There are too many elections that have people running unopposed."