Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster, a Democrat, is stepping down after 12 years in office, and there are five hopefuls running to replace him.
Among the candidates is Jeffrey Elder, the only African American in the race who is looking to make history by becoming the first Black mayor of Niagara Falls.
Elder, an Independent candidate on the Dynamic New Future Line, was born and raised in Niagara Falls and attended LaSalle Sr. High School where he excelled in sports. A United States Air Force veteran, he was selected to fly five Presidential campaigns and two secret Presidential missions to war zones in Baghdad and Iraq during his career while stationed at Andrews Airforce Base
Elder, 57, who also worked at the Department of Homeland Security, said his first priority if elected would be to open the city’s books to make sure there has been no abuse of the funds. He has said he is also concerned about the area’s decline and will use his international and national experience and contacts to revive the city. This is Elder’s first political campaign, but he was able to gather an impressive 2,678 signatures to make the November ballot. He said reaction to his candidacy has been encouraging.
“In recent months, I, along with a growing band of supporters, have criss-crossed the neighborhoods of Niagara Falls and found thousands of voters who are desperate for a change in our city,” stated Elder. “I will continue our efforts to be a catalyst for that change with a concerted campaign to use the bottom line of the ballot to bring about a Dynamic New Future To Niagara Falls and our region as a whole.
“I believe this uniquely qualifies me to be the next mayor of the City of Niagara Falls.”
Elder is a graduate of the University of Maryland, University College with a B A in Emergency Management. He and his wife, Vicki have two daughters, Brianna (29) and Danielle (23) and two grandchildren ages 7 years and 18 months.