Harris, a candidate for the Park District seat currently held by the retiring Louis Petrucci tells WBEN he intends to decline a job as a recreational aide, and he disputes the suggestion that the offer was made to remove him from the school board race.
The recreation aide position, which he applied for in October , would have required a shift from 2 pm until 10 pm on weekdays, and would therefore conflict with attendance at school board sessions. The job was offered on Friday as he gears up a run for school board against the feisty and controversial Paladino, a headstrong developer who ran for Governor in 2009.
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And while he doesn't believe that the job opportunity was a way to possibly remove him from the race, he understands the perception.
"I can see that," he tells WBEN's Dave Debo during an appearance on Hardline, the Sunday politics program. (On Demand Audio at left)
"I think that's where it became muddled.," Harris said, adding that speculation was fueled by what appeared to be consideration he was giving the job.
Harris says he wanted to mull the offer out of respect for Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, but never really considered taking the post.
"To be honest to you there are so many more positives to not taking the job, than taking the job," he says.
In recent months, Paladino (pictured L) and Brown have occasionally joined forces after a stormy past .
Paladino has been designated the developer of a hotel project near Erie Basin Marina, and Brown faces a re-election challenge from a Republican who plans on emphasizing education issues.
Harris declared his candidacy before Paladino announced his own candidacy, as part of a plan to run several reform candidates against incumbent board members.
On Tuesday, Harris expects to file his over 500 nominating signatures, in a district where last year only 350 people voted.
"Game On," Harris says