by Susan Mikula Campbell
Wheatfield Supervisor Bob Cliffe and Councilman Art Gerbec, both incumbents, and newcomer Randy Retzlaff swept the Republican primary election on Tuesday.
Retzlaff as the youngest of the group was presented the symbolic broom from Wheatfield Republican Chairman Jim Heuer, representing a "clean sweep" against challengers. Retzlaff is the nephew of longtime Wheatfield Councilman Ken Retzlaff, who is not running this year.
In the Democratic primary for Wheatfield councilman, winners were Shirley J. Joy and Judy A. Blake.
Another Wheatfield resident celebrating Republican primary election victory was second district legislator Bill Ross, the Niagara County Legislature chairman.
The Republican candidates also were out sweeping as a group on Wednesday, taking down their election signs until 30 days before the November election.
"It is gratifying that, working as a team, the Wheatfield Republicans continue to have such success. This is a result not only of the candidates or the committee, but the strong support from the core of Wheatfield Republicans who come together in every election," Cliffe said. "It is humbling to know that they put so much trust in me and all of our candidates. By putting the needs of Wheatfield residents and taxpayers first, I expect to carry that trust to another victory in November. Thank you Wheatfield."
Cliffe's Republican primary challenger, Thomas J. Larson, still will be on the Democratic line in November.
Gerbec also was very pleased with the primary's outcome and hoped for continued support in November "so we can go forward to another full successful term."
"We're trying to continue the programs we have started, would like to improve them as we go, and if there are other programs brought to our attention that would interest the community, we will consider them also," he said.
Cliffe and Gerbec noted the board already has been working on providing programs for town youngsters at the Youth Center, improvements at Mario Park and expansion of Greenway Trail.
Gerbec said the candidates will continue going door-to-door campaigning. "If people have questions, jot them down," he said. "We will answer to the best of our ability, and if we can't answer, we'll get back to you."
Unofficial primary results released by the Niagara County Board of Elections included:
•Republican Wheatfield supervisor, (one seat): Robert B. Cliffe, 567; Thomas J. Larson, 312.
•Working Families Wheatfield supervisor (one seat): Thomas J. Larson, 2; write in, 5.
•Republican Wheatfield councilman (two seats): Randy W. Retzlaff, 547; Arthur W. Gerbec, 525; Karen McKernan, 320; Michael A. Kislack, 316.
•Democratic Wheatfield councilman (two seats): Shirley J. Joy, 297; Judy A. Blake, 274; Michael A. Kislack, 185; Karen McKernan, 175.
•Republican Niagara County legislator, district 2 (one seat): William L. Ross, 380; Sean M. O'Laughlin, 208.
•Independence Niagara County legislator, district 2 (one seat): William L. Ross, 24; write in, 1.
•Conservative county legislature, district 10, (one seat): David E. Godfrey, 31; write in, 3.
•Conservative Town of Niagara councilman (two seats): Marc M. Carpenter, 16; Richard A. Sirianni, 13; write in, 5.
•Independence Town of Niagara councilman (two seats): Marc M. Carpenter, 12; Richard A. Sirianni, 9; write in, 9.
•Working Families Town of Niagara councilman (two seats): Marc M. Carpenter, 1; write in 3.
•Working Families, county legislator, district 7, (one seat): Michael E. Ne Moyer, 2; write in, 3.
•Working Families, county legislator, district 10, (one seat): Christopher M. Srock, 5; write in, 2.