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These are Our People

Welcome, Chris Collins, to Artvoice’s Best of Buffalo. As any of your fellow public servants can tell the new Erie County executive, a high-profile elective office around here guarantees you a spot on both the “Best Politician” and “Worst Politician” list, as determind by our readers poll. Just ask Assemblyman Sam Hoyt or Congressman Brian Higgins. Just ask Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown—who, strangley, also placed in our “Best Comedian” category.

Mickey Kearns (photo by Rose Mattrey)

Welcome also to South District Councilmember Mickey Kearns, whose (still, as of press time) unannounced but understood candidacy for the mayor’s office this fall has lifted him out of obscuroty and landed him on the list of best politicians and potential mayors. Curiously, Kearns did not make the “Worst Politicians” list. What to make of that?

Collins and Kearns notwithstanding, the names don’t change much around here. Eric Starchild is celebrated for his eccentricity; Kevin Gaughan, Harvey Garrett, and Aaron Bartley for their civic-mindedness; Don Paul for his weather reports. Where’s scandal-plagued Ellicott District Councilmember Brian Davis on the “Worst Politician” list? Let’s get current, folks.

And why, when asked to name “Buffalo’s Weirdest Resident,” do our readers alight on folks like Starchild, the Allen Street Bubble Man, and the Lady in White? Aren’t there public figures—Deputy Mayor Steve Casey comes to mind, as does failed Statler Towers developer Bashar Issa—whose weirdness is just as deep without being obvious, and far more disturbing for its seemingly normal countenance?

We don’t know the answer. This poll belongs to you, our readers. We just hand out the accolades and the booby prizes, which will be announced at our great big shindig on Monday, May 4, at the Town Ballroom. It’s free, it’s fun, and there’s lots to eat.

One last note: Kudos to bloggers Alan Bedenko (BuffaloPundit) and Chris Smith (BuffaloGeek), both of, for waging a an actual, albeit tongue-in-cheek war for votes in the “Best Blogger” category. Readers win when bloggers compete. Chris, you nearly broke into the top five. Yow.

geoff kelly

Best Activist Group

Buffalo ReUse
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper
Women in Black
PUSH Buffalo
Coalition for Economic Justice

Best Individual Activist

Kevin Gaughan
Aaron Bartley
Carl Paladino
Harvey Garrett
Michael I. Niman

Best Local Blogger

Newell Nussbaumer
Robby Takac
Alan Bedenko
Jennifer Smith
Bruce Jackson

Best Local Print Journalist

Donn Esmonde
Jerry Sullivan
Michael I. Niman
Jeff Meiers
Geoff Kelly

Best Radio Personality

Shredd & Ragan
Janet Snyder
Tom Bauerle
Sandy Beach
Howard Simon

Best TV Personality

Jodi Johnston
Mary Alice Demler
Don Paul
Victoria Hong
Don Postles

Buffalo’s Weirdest Resident

The Lady in White
Eric Starchild
The Allen Street Bubble Man
Elmwood’s Screaming Jean
The Allentown Shoe Licker

Best Drag King

Bud Wyzer
Scotti Seman
Randy Strokes
Leah Prentiss
Adam Bomb

Best Drag Queen

F’ya Valentino
Jamie Coxxx
Miss V
Vicky Vogue
Fantasee Island

Best Local Politician

Byron Brown
Sam Hoyt
Brian Higgins
Chris Collins
Mickey Kearns

Worst Local Politician

Chris Collins
Byron Brown
Satish Mohan
Sam Hoyt
All of them

Buffalo’s Next Mayor

Brian Higgins
Byron Brown
Sam Hoyt
Mickey Kearns
Newell Nussbaumer

Best of Buffalo 2009 Nominations

Mysteries of BuffaloThe Way We EatThe Way We Drink
Where We ShopOur Kind of MusicThese are Our People
Our Culture, Great and SmallThis is Our Town

And the Winners Are...

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