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Election wrap-up

by jmaloni
Wed, Nov 9th 2016 04:20 pm
The Hon. Angelo Morinello, center, flanked by family members, thanks supporters in Niagara Falls after his Assembly election victory Tuesday. (Photo by Terry Duffy)
The Hon. Angelo Morinello, center, flanked by family members, thanks supporters in Niagara Falls after his Assembly election victory Tuesday. (Photo by Terry Duffy)

•In Niagara County and northern Erie County, the race for the 145th Assembly District seat pitted incumbent John Ceretto, D-Lewiston, against retired Niagara Falls City Court Judge Angelo Morinello, R-C-I-Niagara Falls.

"I am truly humbled, by all the support, all the prayers and all the friends," Morinello told supporters inside his downtown Niagara Falls campaign office. "For me to begin thanking each individual is going to be next to impossible."

"It's just so overwhelming," he continued. "You know they always tell you to prepare to be a good loser, but it's harder to be a good winner.

"I worked hard. I campaigned 326 days. I attended over 200 events. I knocked on almost 3,500 doors, and it was me going to the people and giving my message.

"We will take this area, the 145th, to the next level. We're going to clean up Albany, and we're going to do many good things."

In Niagara County, Morinello topped Ceretto by 2,607 votes (20,829 to 18,222) according to tabulations by the Niagara County Board of Elections. In Erie County, Morinello bested his opponent by 1,855 votes (5,719-3,864) according to counts by the Erie County Board of Elections.

In total, Morinello had 55 percent of the votes cast.

Ceretto was a no-show at an election gathering of Democratic politicians and supporters in downtown Niagara Falls. The audience was told he was looking into absentee ballots.

Just before 11:30 p.m., Ceretto conceded the election. In an email, he said, "I congratulate my opponent, Angelo Morinello, for winning a hardfought race. Western New York families deserve a state Assembly representative who will clean up the corruption in Albany, lower taxes, bring funding to our area for better roads and bridges and create more good-paying job opportunities. I am proud of the campaign that I ran and I give a heartfelt thanks to all of those who supported me along the way. I wish Mr. Morinello well in Albany."

Ceretto was first elected to the Assembly in 2010. Prior to that, he served in the Niagara County Legislature and as a councilman in the Town of Lewiston.

Morinello said, right off, he's going to work on building relationships with the leaders and residents in his constituent communities. Morinello far outpolled Ceretto in the suburbs.

"The first thing I want to do is call a meeting of the two mayors and the five supervisors, sit down around the table, have them talk to each other, have them shake hands and start working as a team for this district," Morinello said.

"It's about the people and the voters of the 145th District," he reiterated. "I thank all of you. There are so many individuals that believed in me, and I'm overwhelmed at this point."

In other results:

•For the office of U.S. president, the Republican team of Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence defeated Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.

While Clinton handily won the state of New York's 29 electoral votes, local residents were split almost in half in their vote for commander-in-chief.

Former Secretary of State Clinton won Erie County, defeating Trump by more than 18,000 votes (192,065 to 173,817). In Niagara County, the Trump ticket was victorious by more than 16,000 votes (49,223 to 32,888). Overall, Clinton netted 224,953 votes, topping Trump's 223,040 votes.

Trump netted 290 electoral votes. To win, a presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes.

Clinton, meanwhile, took the popular vote by a measure of 337,688 votes, or .3 percent.

In Niagara County, Independent Party candidates Gary Johnson and Bill Weld tallied 2,666 votes, while the Green Party's Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka took 1,223 votes. There were 702 write-in votes cast in this contest.

Trump's victory in Niagara County marked the first time a Republican won the county since Ronald Reagan in 1984, GOP Chairman Scott Kiedrowski announced in a press release after reviewing election returns at Republican Party headquarters.

"Mr. Trump won here, and he won 'bigly,' " Kiedrowski said after unofficial results from the Niagara County Board of Elections put the president-elect's head-to-head margin of victory over Clinton at 60 percent to 40 percent.

Kiedrowski noted his own hometown of North Tonawanda - a city that gave President Barack Obama and the Democrats a 525-vote plurality over Republican nominee Mitt Romney four years ago - delivered a decisive 2,072-vote win for Trump.

"In Niagara County, the Republicans won everywhere - towns and cities - on Tuesday, and we won big," Kiedrowski said. "Right candidate, right message, right teamwork."

•For U.S. Senate, incumbent Democrat Charles E. Schumer won re-election by defeating Republican Wendy Long. He won Niagara County by a count of 48,868 votes to 31,711 votes. In Erie County, Schumer drew 256,502 votes, while Long had 107,936 votes.

•For State Supreme Court Justice, Eighth Judicial District, Republicans Mary L. Slisz and Daniel J. Furlong won the two seats up for election. In Niagara County, they garnered 41,094 and 40,451 votes, respectively. In Erie County, their vote totals were 156,865 and 149,269.

•In U.S. Congress races, for the 26th District, incumbent Democrat Rep. Brian Higgins won re-election over Republican challenger Shelly Schratz. Higgins drew 17,367 votes in Niagara County, and 176,151 in Erie County. His opponent pulled in 8,673 votes in Niagara County and 58,015 in Erie County.

There were 14 write-in votes cast for all candidates.

•In the 27th District, incumbent Republican Rep. Chris Collins was re-elected, topping Democratic Party challenger Diana K. Kastenbaum. In Niagara County, Collins recorded 35,810 votes, and in Erie County another 87,815 votes. Kastenbaum had 17,278 votes in Niagara County, and 44,568 in Erie County.

There were 25 write-in votes cast.

Collins was one of the first elected leaders to publicly support Trump.

"I am honored and humbled to be re-elected by the hardworking people of New York's 27th District," he said. "Voters here in NY-27 have chosen to reject the status quo in Washington and support individuals focused on creating economic opportunities for all Americans.

"This election has brought several vital issues for Western New York to the national forefront. I will continue to fight to bring back our manufacturing jobs, secure our borders, negotiate better trade deals, and stand up to our enemies. Western New Yorkers can count on me to advocate for their interests and enact policies that protect the hardworking families in our community."

•In the State Assembly's 140th District, incumbent Democrat Robin Schimminger topped Republican challenger Danielle Rotello. In Niagara County, Schimminger took 4,940 votes. He had another 30,193 in Erie County. Rotello had 2,530 votes in Niagara County, and 10,312 in Erie County. Green Party Candidate Anthony Baney had 178 votes in Niagara County, and 1,250 in Erie County. There were five write-in votes.

•Republican New York State Sen. Robert C. Ortt, who ran uncontested, was re-elected with 61,613 votes cast. There were 273 write-in votes in this race.

•Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour, who also ran unopposed, was re-elected with 75,565 votes cast. There were 157 write-ins.

•Niagara County incumbent Democrat District Attorney Caroline A. Wojtaszek drew 72,873 votes in an uncontested race. There were 150 write-ins.

All results are unofficial.

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