Buffalo, NY – Chairman Karl Simmeth and the past leaders of the Erie County Republican committee were saddened by the news that former County Chair Victor N. Farley passed late Friday night, February 11, 2022.
Erie County Chairman Karl Simmeth said, “Our hearts and prayers are with his wife Linda and their family. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and certainly, the success and leadership of Victor Farley set the course for Erie County and New York State. On all accounts, Victor was a great leader, and the Republican Party and our Community are better off because of him.”
Chairman Farley proudly served the Republican Party in Erie County for 11 years from 1979 to 1990. Before handing the party off to a young Thomas Reynolds, who would later go on to Congress, Farley was instrumental in recruiting and electing Buffalo Bills Quarterback Ed Rutkowski as Erie County Executive, recruiting and running Richard Arcara, Erie’s first Italian-American District Attorney, and recommending Dennis C. Vacco to be appointed U.S. Attorney. Dennis Vacco from Brant, NY would go on to make history winning statewide in 1994 as New York’s Attorney General. Victor Farley was notably proud to have a good relationship with Mayor Jimmy Griffin and endorsed him three times in 1981, 1985, and 1989.
Victor was known for welcoming immigrants and newcomers to the Republican Party, and recruiting candidates from all walks of life. In the era of President Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush he was successful in US attorney US District Judge and was well regarded in Albany and Washington DC. He was also the assistant counsel to the Senate Majority Leader’s office, and was heavily relied on as a negotiator in both politics and policy. Erie County was, as it is today, pivotal in the success of a statewide county.
State Party Chairman Nick Langworthy said, “Chairman Victor Farley’s legacy will endure for generations to come. He was a visionary leader and dedicated public servant who exemplified what it meant to leave your community better than you found it. Erin and I offer our deepest condolences to his wife and children for their loss.”
James Domagalski, who served as County Chairman from 2006-2010 stated, “Victor Farley was an American original. A master political strategist whose work brought good men like Ed Rutkowski into elected office and who forged the way for conservative Republican government on the local level in the 1980’s.”
Bob Davis served as the Chairman of Tonawanda under Farley, and later was elected County Chairman from 1996-2006. “He was an old school Chairman, the kind who knew how to get the job done at the grassroots. He grew the Republican Party, won critical races and is responsible for recruiting and electing Ed Rutkowski to County Executive. Victor had a brilliant legal mind, and was depended on heavily by the Senate Majority. I am deeply saddened by his passing, and I will miss his friendship.”
Former Erie County Chairman and Congressman Thomas Reynolds said, “Victor Farley was a mentor of mine for many years. I succeeded him as County Chair and he surely gilded me on many occasions through my time as Chairman, in the State Assembly, and as a Representative in Congress. He leaves a fine legacy as a public servant, Erie County Chairman, and I will surely miss him as a friend.”
“He was a really good friend of mine. His advice was always do the right thing no matter the consequences,” said Ed Rutkowski, Buffalo Bills QB and former Erie County Executive. “He had a brilliant mind for law and politics, and he insisted that his people always do their best to make the community a better place. When I had to make appointments he would say ‘Hire people you know will do a good job’ and insisted to focus on merit. And if he recommended a person for a job, he guaranteed it would be a qualified person who would never embarrass me, Erie County, or the Republican Party. He was a great friend, a great mentor, and he will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to his wife and family in their time of grief.”