by Joshua Maloni
With 54 percent of the vote, mayoral candidate Terry Collesano was endorsed Tuesday by the Village of Lewiston Republican Party. The 20-year trustee outpolled Bill Geiben, who was selected mayor in November 2009.
"I'm just overwhelmed," Collesano said after the vote result was announced. "I just want to thank everyone. Thank you.
"I am honored to be selected to represent the village people."
Nearly one-third of the Village of Lewiston's 600 registered Republicans came out to vote in Tuesday's caucus at the Red Brick Municipal Building. Event host Jeff Williams said, "This is probably the largest party caucus I've seen or attended. It's grassroots democracy at its finest."
Republican Party Chairman Rob Nichols agreed with Williams.
"It's a great day for Lewiston," he said. "It shows people are excited about the electoral process in Lewiston."
The GOP also backed the re-election bids of trustees Bruce Sutherland, Vic Eydt and Ron Craft. As the top two vote-getters, Sutherland and Eydt will both run for a four-year term, while Craft and Ernie Krell will vie for two-year positions. With Collesano running for mayor, all four Village Board positions are up for grabs in the June 15 election.
As the Republican Party was meeting, so too were the Democrats. At the HSBC Bank Conference Room, Claudia Marasco and Chris Bartolomei were picked to run against Sutherland and Eydt. Bob Giannetti was selected to run for one of the two-year trustee positions, but declined the nomination.
The Democrats also endorsed Collesano, which means he controls both major party lines in the election.
Resident Al Soluri nominated Collesano at the GOP caucus. He said his candidate is " a true example of a citizen servant" and possesses "unquestionable integrity."
Dave Maslen seconded the motion, and said Collesano "brings too much loyalty and too much knowledge to be denied."
Geiben said he hasn't ruled out running for mayor as an Independent.
"At this point in time, no final decision has been made," he said on Friday. "Time is on my side to make a decision."
The village's former mayor, Richard Soluri, nominated Geiben. He said, "Bill was an excellent trustee. He always took interest in what was happening."
Though the two trustees were on opposite sides in the mayoral race, Collesano said, "We're all good friends. We're all village people. All I can say is I'm overwhelmed. I really am.
"I think Bill is an admirable person and he did a good job. I just have a feeling that, I've been here my entire life, and I'm known. As I said tonight, I try to stay in the upper hand of what's best for the village. I try to stay away from the political end of it. I just like to see what is best for the residents of the village."