The Buffalo News Politics Now blog:
A Buffalo attorney with strong ties to the Democratic organization established by former Assemblyman Sam Hoyt is polling voters in the 60th Senate District as he explores a candidacy against Republican incumbent Mark J. Grisanti.
Mark P. Panepinto, 47, said he hopes polling results available next week will expedite a process that could lead to his entrance into next November's contest. Grisanti, who upset former Democratic Sen. Antoine M. Thompson in the overwhelmingly Democratic district in 2010, is expected to face a tough re-election challenge after committing to remain a Republican earlier this year.
... The Grisanti seat ranks as one of the top objectives of Senate Democrats for 2012, according to Sen. Michael Gianaris of Queens, chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. He has visited Buffalo several times this year to lay the groundwork for the 2012 campaign, and has flatly predicted that Democrats will retake the seat.