by Terry Duffy
Election Day had few surprises in northern Niagara County, as most ran unopposed as incumbents in the towns of Lewiston, Porter, Wilson and Newfane.
In fact, the lone contest of interest was seen in the election for Town of Lewiston highway superintendent. Douglas A. Janese (R, C, I), appointed earlier to the seat, scored a convincing victory over his opponents, town highway employees David E. D'Avolio (D) and Travis Diez (WF), who entered the fray following a spirited primary in September. According to final but still unofficial numbers from the Niagara County Board of Elections, out of 2,781 votes cast it was Janese with 1,637 or 58.86 percent, to 922 or 33.15 percent for D'Avolio, and 222 or 7.98 percent for Diez.
Janese campaigned on his one-term record of successful consolidation in the highway and drainage departments, sound management and a tailoring-in of operational costs. He credited the work of Town of Lewiston Republican Committee Chair Rob Nichols and GOP supporters for helping him land a relatively easy win, despite some last-minute controversies that developed in the form of spirited commentaries directed at D'Avolio from Janese backers. "It was a team effort here," said Janese. "Rob Nichols played a big part in this. His organization, his leadership, the Republican Party. I just want to thank every single individual who helped me during the campaign, and every voter who came out and showed their faith in me."
Nichols in turn credited Janese for sound management in highway and effectively serving the needs of Lewiston residents and businesses. "Highway Superintendent Doug Janese ran on his record, and the voters affirmed what we believe to be true from the start - the highway department is well managed and Doug's crew is delivering exceptional service to the Lewiston community," said Nichols. "If it's not broke, don't fix it rang true this year in all Lewiston races."
D'Avolio was upbeat in the face of the loss and offered his congratulations to Janese, a colleague of his in the Highway Department, for what he called "a good race." "I'm happy for him," said D'Avolio. "We live in a great town, and I hope he takes care of these people."
The D'Avolio campaign, which saw support for the candidate from Teamsters Local 264, also included post-election praise paid to him by the local for waging a fair and spirited contest.
"Congratulations to Teamsters Local 264 member David D'Avolio for the courage to make a challenge and a race fairly run in the Town of Lewiston highway superintendent election," said Local 264 in a statement. "Though the results were not as we hoped, David demonstrated skill and integrity in the campaign and a true community spirit.
"With competence and proficiency, David has laid a foundation from which we will all benefit. We thank him and wish him well in his future endeavors," the statement concluded.
In other races in Lewiston, Porter, Wilson and Newfane, virtually all other contests were low-key, with office holders - unopposed for the most part - cruising to easy victory, helped along by decent fall weather which spurred good voter turnout.
In the races of interest, according to Niagara County Board of Elections tabulations with 100 percent of the vote counted:
•In Lewiston, Town Supervisor Steven L. Reiter (R, C, I) won re-election with 2,181 votes and incumbent Town Clerk Carol J. Brandon (D), likewise won her office with 1,765. Totals for Town Council, with both incumbents (R, C, I) unopposed, were Ronald R. Winkley, 2,069 votes, or 58.45 percent, and Ernest C. Palmer, 2,032, or 49.55 percent, with 4,101 total votes cast. Justice totals were incumbents (both D, R, C, WF, I) Hugh C. Gee Sr., 2,408, or 51.26 percent, and Thomas J. Sheeran, 2,290 votes, or 48.74 percent, with 4,101 votes cast.
•For the Niagara County Legislature, results also saw incumbents (all R, C, I) winning in the unopposed contests. District 1 Niagara County Legislator Clyde L. Burmaster had 1,671 votes; District 2 Legislator William L. Ross, 1,547 votes and District 10 Legislator David E. Godfrey had 1,726, all 100 percent totals.
•In the Town of Porter, totals for the unopposed office holders (all R, C, I) were: Town Clerk Gail A. Zachary, 672; Town Council, Jeffery P. Baker, 658 or 50.73 percent, and Lawrence H. White, 639 or 49.27 percent with 1,297 total votes cast. Highway Superintendent Scott B. Hillman was re-elected with 665 votes.
•In the Town of Newfane, winners (both R, C, I) were: supervisor, Timothy R. Horanburg, 1,614 votes, and town clerk, Mildred M. Kamp, 1,565. For town justice, totals were Bruce M Barnes (D, R), 1,357, or 71.12 percent, and Gordon H. Fletcher III (WF, I), 551, or 28.88 percent, with 1,908 votes cast. For town council (both R, C, I), results were Laura L. Rutland, 1,506 votes, or 50.79 percent, and Marcus R. Hall, 1,459, or 49.21 percent, with 2,965 votes cast.
In the highway superintendent's race, Jon Miller (R, C, I) claimed victory with 1,264, or 63.58 percent, to Gregory P. Ketch (D), with 724, or 36.42 percent, with 1,988 votes cast.
Town Receiver of Taxes Judith A. Meahl (R, C, I) won re-election with 1,580 votes.
•In the Town of Wilson, unopposed winners (both R, C, I) included: Supervisor Joseph A. Jastrzemski, 687; and Town Clerk Wanda E. Burrows, 682. For town justices (both D, R, C, I), Mary A. Canfield, had 726 or 50.38 percent, and Robert J. Botzer, 715 or 49.62 percent, with 1,441 votes cast.
Town Council winners (both R, C, I) were Thomas J. Thompson, 654, or 50.70 percent, and James V. Muscoreil, 636, or 49.30 percent, with 1,290 votes cast.
Town Highway Superintendent Daniel M. Kerwin (R, C, I) had 719 votes and Tax Collector Julia E. Godfrey (R, C, I) had, 687.
In still other races of interest:
State Supreme Court, Judicial District 8, Patrick H. NeMoyer (D, R, C, WF, I) had 29,340 votes; County Family Court, Kathleen M Wojtaszek-Gariano (D, R, C, WF, I), 29,876; County district attorney, Michael J. Violante (R, C, I), 25,217; county clerk, Wayne F. Jagow (R, C, WF, I), 20,831, or 62.57 percent, and Pat L. Murphy (D, Niagara Taxpayers Party), 12,461, or 37.43 percent, for a total of 33,292 votes cast; and in election for Fourth District county coroner, Russell Jackman II (R, C, I) had, 4,651, or 61.38 percent, and Gerald Frazier II (D, WF), 2,927, or 38.62 percent, for a total of 7,578 votes cast.