MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County Legislature has appointed Lakewood Republican Paul “PJ” Wendel as the new Chautauqua County Executive. The appointment came during the Legislature’s organizational meeting on Thursday afternoon.
From 2012 until Thursday, Wendel had represented Lakewood, northern Busti and a small portion of southwestern Jamestown in district 10 of the legislature and was the body’s chairman for 2018 and 2019.
Wendel’s appointment came after he was recommended to be the next county executive by the Chautauqua County Republican Committee. The recommendation came after the November election victory in the state Senate by former county executive George Borrello.
Under recently amended county law, the party committee of the previous executive who left office is given the opportunity to make a recommendation to the legislature on who shall fill a vacancy, with the legislature then required to formally act on the designation.
According to the Post-Journal, Wendel says he will be running for the special election in November of this year to finish Borrello’s original four-year term, which ends in December 2021. He also said he would run again for the full, four-year term during the 2021 general election.
Meanwhile, members the legislature also elected their chairman for the new term. Bemus point resident and District 8 Republican Pierre Chagnon will be the chairman for the next two years. Chagnon is entering his seventh year in the legislature and had previously served as the chair of the legislature’s audit-and-control committee, along with other committees and commissions.