After hearing something other than the type of praise common in the corridors of Washington, Kemp was exhausted. “You guys do this every week?” he asked one town councilman after the event, former Highway Superintendent James Connolly. “I don’t think I could ever hold a job like that.”

According to Connolly and about a dozen other people who were involved in Hamburg politics in the following decades, there was one town official who particularly thrived at that grassroots level of government: Hochul, a board member from 1994 until 2007.

“We used to call her the Energizer Bunny — she just

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