Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

All Grand Island incumbents re-elected

by jmaloni

Taken from Nov. 8 Island Dispatch

Sat, Nov 16th 2013 12:10 am

by Larry Austin

All four incumbents in Grand Island political races were re-elected Tuesday in the general election.

Republican Jim Tomkins was re-elected to another four-year term as highway superintendent, defeating challenger Bill Stanley by 299 votes. Tomkins received 53 percent of the votes. Chris Aronica and Ray Billica were re-elected to the Town Board over challengers Dolly D'Orazio and Bev Kinney. Town Justice Mark Frentzel was re-elected without opposition after winning four party lines in the primaries.

Tomkins said at an election night get-together at Ellden's Restaurant that he was "looking forward to another four years taking care of the taxpayers."

In his last run for the post, he enjoyed a 4,000-vote win, but he faced stiff opposition this year from Stanley, a member of the Highway Department making his first run for elected office.

"It's not often on Grand Island that there's choices," Tomkins said of the contested race. "A lot of times we run unopposed. I think people were excited about getting out and having a choice."

Stanley still works in the Highway Department, but Tomkins said there will be no issue getting along with his political opponent on the job.

"No, there won't be any problem," Tomkins said. "He's just one of the guys."

Aronica, a Conservative Party member, won a four-year term in his own right after being appointed to a vacant seat in 2012 and winning a special election last November.

"I'm humbled by the support I've gotten the past two years from everybody on Grand Island, from all the different parties," Aronica said.

"Nobody took anything for granted," Aronica said. Kinney and D'Orazio "worked really hard and the whole Democratic Party worked really hard. They were re-energized this year. I thought they did a tremendous job."

Aronica said he had a great deal of respect for the work Kinney and D'Orazio did both politically and in the community.

Billica said there was no one issue that gave him the edge. "I don't think it's anything that I've done. I think it's that a lot of the people of Grand Island know who I am and what I stand for, and they came out to vote," he said.

"It's a good night for Republicans, but, you know, people know that I work with anybody," Billica added. "It's important for you to think about the Town of Grand Island and what's good for the Town of Grand Island."

Island Republican Committee chair Debora Michaux praised the efforts of the GOP team.

"Our Republican committee and our candidates had a game plan, followed the game plan and were victorious in the end," Michaux said.

Michaux said the sweep "feels great. It feels great that we're part of a local county win because what we do on Grand Island affects what happens in the county." She noted that now Republicans hold a majority in the Erie County Legislature. Kevin Hardwick, the incumbent legislator, defeated Bill Conrad by a 2-1 margin in the Erie County Legislature's 4th District, which includes Grand Island.

"I think it's great that we swept it because we've got a good team in there right now, and we're running on all eight cylinders, and it's going to be nice to keep the workflow going," Tomkins said of the townwide races.

Regarding the closest race of the night, for highway superintendent, Tomkins won by "quite a margin," said Michaux.

"Well, it wasn't that close. I think it was a sign war, and it certainly looked by the number of signs that Mr. Stanley had up that JT couldn't possibly overcome the numbers," Michaux said. "But anybody that was paying attention knew that JT was obviously the most qualified candidate."

"People figured out that signs don't vote," Michaux said.

Michaux felt the challenger's campaign was negative in tone.

Highway Superintendent

Bill Stanley (Democratic).......................... 1,693

Bill Stanley (Working Families)................... 195

Bill Stanley (Independence).......................... 427

Bill Stanley........................................... 2,315

James Tomkins (Republican)..................... 1,970

James Tomkins (Conservative)..................... 644

James Tomkins....................................... 2,614

Town Council

Beverly Kinney (Democratic)..................... 1,975

Beverly Kinney (Independence)..................... 429

Beverly Kinney...................................... 2,404

Dolly D'Orazio (Democratic).................... 1,587

Chris Aronica (Republican)....................... 2,167

Chris Aronica (Conservative)........................ 829

Chris Aronica (Independence)....................... 371

Chris Aronica........................................ 3,367

Ray Billica (Republican)........................... 2,075

Ray Billica (Conservative)........................... 742

Ray Billica............................................ 2,817

Town Justice

Mark Frentzel (Democratic)....................... 1,585

Mark Frentzel (Republican)....................... 1,870

Mark Frentzel (Conservative)........................ 637

Mark Frentzel (Independence)....................... 423

Mark Frentzel......................................4,515

comments powered by Disqus