Story and photo by Terry Duffy
The results are not yet finalized but, in tabulations from Tuesday night, it appears that Village of Youngstown residents have opted to retain Democrat Mayor Raleigh Reynolds. Unofficial tallies showed the incumbent Reynolds, who took over as mayor following the passing of Mayor Neil C. Riordan last fall, winning the seat with 216 votes to 206 cast for Republican Dorothy E. (Dotty) Riordan, wife of the late mayor.
Reynolds, who was endorsed by the Town of Porter Democratic Committee, won office in an election that saw one of the higher voter turnouts in the village in recent years. Of 1,493 eligible voters in the village, more than 400 participated in Tuesday's elections. Riordan carried endorsements by the Town of Porter Republican Party and the Responsive Party (Independence Party).
"I thought it was good; I thought it was going to be close," said Reynolds. "I had no idea on how, really, the election was going to come out. I was surprised to see a large number of people come out to vote, but I thought it was great."
"Obviously I'm pleased," he continued. "But it was really good to see that many come out to exercise their right to vote. That was an important part as well."
Riordan spokesperson and daughter-in-law Jodee Riordan expressed the family's appreciation to village residents for their support in what was ultimately a very close race.
"Thank you to every one who came out and voted for Dotty yesterday," Riordan wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday. "Ten votes was the difference."
That strong voter interest and close numbers were also reflected in at least one of the two seats contested for village trustee. Top vote getter overall was Tim Lockhart, with 349 votes. Lockhart, former administrator of the Town of Lewiston Water Pollution Control Center and a longtime village resident, was cross-endorsed by the Democrats and Republicans, plus the Responsive Party.
The other win involved incumbent, Democrat-endorsed Trustee Steven Suitor in a close contest with GOP/Responsive Party-endorsed Jack Bush. Suitor won the contest by a mere three votes -- 214 to 211.
"Good win!" commented Suitor, who celebrated the final count with family members at the Ontario House Tuesday night.
As of Tuesday, Porter GOP officials were said to be pursuing recounts of the election results with village officials and the Niagara County Board of Elections. "We'll be looking into it," commented GOP Chairman Duffy Johnston.
For Reynolds, Suitor and Lockhart though, it's on to work on village issues.
"We want to get something going on Cold Storage; we do have the Black Pearl coming this summer; we have some road work coming up," said Reynolds. "We'll be busy."