MAYVILLE – Democrats in Chautauqua County have announced their candidate for county executive.
During a announcement event Thursday afternoon in front of the County Courthouse in Mayville, Fredonia’s Mike Ferguson announced his intention to run for the county’s top administrative position, with a focus on creating an environment in the county that is conducive to job development and growth for working class families throughout the county.
“I believe there are opportunities to bring new jobs to our community,” Ferguson said during his announcement speech. “I also believe that government doesn’t create jobs. We create the atmosphere that is conducive to creating new jobs and we will do that. We will provide a wage that gives dignity and hope to families and future generations, and a means to fulfill the educational needs of the incoming working, who merely needs a reeducation to obtain the jobs they are otherwise qualified to hold.”
Ferguson said a major component of his approach as county executive will be to continue to develop collaborations with and between educations institutions so that current employers in the area not only benefit, but others will also see the county as an ideal place to move and provide new jobs in the area.
“I will collaborate with our area’s education systems – SUNY Fredonia, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown Business College, MTI, The STEM Programs, and others – to bring the curriculum needed for incoming students to allow them to stay after graduation and begin their lives here in Chautauqua County,” he said.
Ferguson said he will also make agriculture a key component of economic development in the area, by leveraging the agricultural assets already in the area, which he says are not being fully served by current economic development efforts. And he said he has a three-front approach to tackling the area’s drug problem, by helping the addict, as well as going after both the manufacturers and dealers.
Ferguson is a native of Buffalo but has spent much of his professional life working in Chautauqua County with several organizations in both Jamestown and Fredonia/Dunkirk, as well as on Chautauqua Lake. His resume includes working as an administrator for professional sports teams including the Buffalo Blizzard and Jamestown Jammers, along with serving as the General Manager of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena – now Northwest Arena. He’s also worked in marketing for various businesses including the Bemus Bay Pops and Merritt Estate Winery. And he’s served on various boards, including president of the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau as well as on the board of the Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy.
Ferguson lives in the Fredonia area with his wife Dianne. They have five children and three grandchildren.
The Republican Candidate for County Executive is County Legislator George Borrello (R-Hanover), who announced in April his intention to run. This year’s county executive race is an open seat race, with current County Executive Vince Horrigan announcing he would not seek a second term in office.
More details on Ferguson and his election platform can be found at his campaign website, FergusonForChautauqua.com.