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About PJ

Paul "PJ" Michael Wendel Jr. has been a Chautauqua County resident since 1977. He graduated from Southwestern Central School in the Spring of 1988 and attended SUNY Brockport in the Fall of 1988. At SUNY Brockport he majored in Physical Education/Teacher Certification. PJ graduated from Suny Brockport with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1992. After graduation, he began substitute teaching at Southwestern, Jamestown, and Falconer school districts. In 2000, PJ was hired full-time at Falconer Central School as a boys' Physical Education teacher where he has remained for 19 years. In 2004 PJ received a Masters of Sport Studies with a concentration in Exercise Science from the United States Sports Academy. PJ also received a Master of Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Graduating Suma Cum Laude in Educational Leadership.


While attending SUNY Brockport PJ was a four-year Varsity letter winner for the nationally-ranked Brockport wrestling team. PJ was a two-time NCAA qualifier and ALL-American his senior year. He captained the wrestling team his senior year and led his team to Brockport's fifth NCAA Division III National Championship. Once he graduated from SUNY Brockport, PJ shared his passion for wrestling with the people of Chautauqua County. He served as a wrestling coach in Chautauqua County for roughly 20 years. During this time he taught his athletes respect for themselves, their teammates, their coaches, and their community.  In 2019 he was inducted into the SUNY Brockport athletic hall of fame.


PJ joined the Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department in 1991. While a member of the LVFD PJ became an EMT in 1995 and has maintained his EMT certification. During his 31 years as a volunteer Firefighter/EMT, he has held the ranks of Assistant Lieutenant, Lieutenant, assistant captain, and assistant chief. PJ has also been the vice president and president of the Lakewood volunteer fire company and served in the business division of the fire department. In 2019 PJ was selected EMS provider of the year. This passion for public service and protecting the community is a trait that he shares with his son who has also recently joined his father in the Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department.


PJ began his political career in local government when he was elected as a Trustee for the village of Lakewood in 2007. He served the village for five years, serving on the Parks and Public Safety Committees, with his knowledge of public safety after years of service in the LVFD. PJ served his final two years as a Village Trustee as Deputy Mayor. In 2011 PJ successfully ran for County legislator: District 18. During his eight years, PJ has served on Administrative Services, Audit & Control, and a four-year term as Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. PJ's notable roles in the legislature are his involvement in the budget process; being an integral proponent for the life-saving Chautauqua County Fly Car System; being Co-chair of the Community Justice Council; and, serving as a member of both the EMS Council and Fire Advisory Board. PJ began his leadership role in the legislature in 2014 when he was appointed assistant majority leader. He then moved to majority leader in 2016. In 2018 and 2019 PJ was unanimously elected chairman of the legislature.


In January 2020, The Chautauqua County Legislature unanimously appointed PJ to fill the vacant Chautauqua County Executive position. PJ used his leadership ability and knowledge of Public Safety to navigate the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and advocated for Chautauqua County to state leaders at the state level. In 2020, PJ successfully ran for County Executive to finish out his predecessor's term. During this time he established his long-term goals for Chautauqua County as we moved into the post-pandemic era. In 2021 PJ successfully ran for his own 4 year term, which he currently serves. 

During his time in office PJ has worked to give Chautauqua County the recognition they deserve on both the state and federal levels. He serves as a board member for NYSAC, as well as a board member for the County Executive Association of America. 

PJ lives in Lakewood with his wife of 22 years, Jennifer, where they have raised thier two children.


Support PJ Wendel

I appreciate your support.


Please make checks payable to “Committee to Elect PJ Wendel” and mail them to:

Committee to Elect PJ Wendel
P.O. Box 432
Lakewood, NY 14750


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