Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Zellner fended off a challenge to his leadership and secured another term, our colleagues at Time Warner Cable News Buffalo report.

Zellner’s victory comes after Sen. Tim Kennedy and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown supported Mark Manna, a contract negotiator for the UFCW in western New York and Amherst town councilman, over Zellner’s re-election.

(Kennedy himself was at one point floated as a possible replacement for Zellner, but denied his interest earlier this month on Capital Tonight).

The faction that lined up against Zellner came after the chairman supported Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant’s second failed primary bid against Kennedy.

Grant, who also had the support of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Rep. Brian Higgins, had previously challenged Kennedy for the Democratic ballot line in 2012 and lost.

Zellner had accused his rival faction of having Steve Pigeon, a former county chairman himself, find Manna out of nowhere in order to knock him from his post.

Zellner initially won the chairmanship in Erie County after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s allies behind the scenes stepped in to oust then-Chairman Len Lenihan.

Still, Zellner wasn’t the choice of Cuomo sympathizers, who backed Cheekotowaga Chairman Frank Max.

Nevertheless, as Liz reported earlier, there has been a thaw in the relationship between Cuomo’s political operation and Zellner, which comes as the governor focuses heavily on western New York in order to achieve an overwhelming victory against Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino this November.