POLITICS
01/25/2013 04:04 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2013

Carl Paladino, Former Tea Party Candidate For Governor, Considers Run For Buffalo School Board

Former New York Republican gubernatorial nominee and Tea Party favorite Carl Paladino may run for the Buffalo Board of Education, according to a report by the Buffalo News.

Paladino, a longtime critic of the current Buffalo school board, used strong language to describe his new effort to change the body's dynamic, telling the Buffalo News, "I'm going to destroy them. All nine of them."

Six seats, each representing districts in New York’s second-largest city, are open in this year's school board election, and Paladino is looking for six new candidates -- including himself -- to fill them. He would seek a seat from south Buffalo.

An area developer, Paladino has a long history with the city's school board. In 2008 he launched a radio campaign calling for all members of the board to step down, telling local television station WIVB, "It's time for the school board to say goodbye."

Paladino has appeared many times in front of the board, and has garnered the disdain of some of its members. At a recent meeting, board member Florence D. Johnson reportedly walked out of the room when Paladino began to speak. Another member, Sharon Belton-Cottman, said, "I just don’t know how much longer I’m prepared to sit there and let him be abusive."

According to the Buffalo News, Paladino has used the term "sisterhood" to describe the African-American women who lead the school board.

In July of last year, Paladino went so far as to sue the Buffalo School Board over the naming of Dr. Pamela Brown as district superintendent. The State Supreme Court declared the lawsuit "null and void" only five days later.

Paladino is no stranger to controversy beyond the school board, either. The Huffington Post reported in October that birther-themed bumper stickers reading, "Vote for the American" had been placed on cars at a Thrifty rental car branch owned by Paladino ahead of the presidential election.

Paladino shocked the New York Republican Party with his 2010 gubernatorial primary win over establishment pick former Rep. Rick Lazio. Paladino trumped Lazio largely thanks to landslide victories in western New York. Paladino lost the general election to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) 63 to 33 percent, but captured most counties in the western part of the state.

If he runs and is elected to the Buffalo school board, Paladino vows to fire all the upper-level administrators in the district. He told the Buffalo News, "I'd get rid of that whole staff up there and get some real professional people to do a real professional job, rather than just protect their job all day long."

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