Supervisor candidates in the towns of Lewiston, Niagara and Wheatfield ran unopposed and cruised to victory on Election Day.
•In Lewiston, Republican Steve Broderick was reelected with 98% of the vote (1,956 votes). Town Clerk/Tax Collector Donna Garfinkel (R) also was chosen to serve another term, gathering more than 99% of the vote (1,968). Town Board candidates incumbent Jason Myers (R, 28.76%/1,262) and Sarah Waechter (Democrat, 28.62%/1,256) edged William Burg (R, 28.37%/1,245). Conservative Party candidates Steven Shoecraft (319) and Charles Ortman (298) each earned about 7% of the tally. Eight write-in votes were recorded.
Mitchell Zahno (R, 99%/1,894) also ran unopposed and will serve as superintendent of highways. Justices the Hon. Hugh Gee Sr. (51%/2,388) and the Hon. Thomas Sheeran (49%/2,320) ran unopposed and were reelected.
•The Town of Niagara will have a new supervisor as longtime Clerk Sylvia Virtuoso (D) claimed more than 99% of the vote (811). She will replace Lee Wallace, who opted not to run for reelection. Melissa Cerrillo (D) will take over as clerk, gaining 99.5% of the vote (797). Democrats Michael Lee (42%/742) and Johnny Parks (30%/534) trumped Republican Donald Schildhauer (27.5%/489). Richard Sirianni had the backing of both major parties and will serve as superintendent of highways (99%/880). Similarly, the Hon. Samuel Gatto was on both major party lines and netted 99% of the vote (895).
•Town of Wheatfield Supervisor Don MacSwan (R) was reelected with more than 98% of the vote (1,456). Clerk Kathleen Harrington-McDonell (R) also won another term, collecting nearly 99% of the vote (1,485). Republicans Gilbert Doucet (49.44%/1,423) and Larry Helwig (49.06%/1,412) will return to the Town Council. Republican Paul Siegmann took the superintendent of highways line with almost 99% of the vote (1,468).
In the Town of Porter, Clerk Kara Hibbard (R, 97%/508) and Town Board members Jeffrey Baker (R, 49%/506) and Lawrence White (R, 48%/496) were reelected. Republican David Burmaster will serve as superintendent of highways (97%/519)
City of North Tonawanda Clerk/Treasurer Donna Braun (R) was reelected with nearly 99% of the vote (4,859). Top aldermen vote-getters were Joseph Lavey Jr. (R), alderman-at-large, with 58% of the vote (3,731); and Republicans Robert Schmigel, Ward 1 (58%/1,204); Frank DiBernardo, Ward 2 (54%/931); and Joseph Marranca III, Ward 3 (60%/1,626).
In the City of Niagara Falls, Mayor Robert Restaino (D, 48%/3,455) edged Republican challenger Carlton Cain (46%/3,253). The City Council race went to Democrats Brian Archie (28%/3,858) and James (Jim) Perry (24%/3,125).
Election results are not yet official.
Metro Creative Graphics
The Niagara County Board of Elections reported a voter turnout of 24.43%.
As to the status of absentee ballots and their impact on the final tallies – particularly close races across the county – Niagara County Board of Elections Democrat Commissioner Lora Allen said absentee ballots are actually the first results the board tabulates in Lockport.
“You have the status of the absentee ballots,” she explained. “The absentee ballots, on election night, (they) were the first reports that went up. They had to be postmarked by the 7th (Nov. 7) and have to be in our office by the 14th. So, if there’s any stragglers out there, (we’ll record them).
“The absentees are reported on election night. A lot of people think (differently). The old way was we used to open them after. But now they’re open and read in on election night.
“They’re actually in (now). The majority; of course, you have the late people. But the majority, they’re in there and they’re reported at 9 o’clock. That was the first numbers that went up on election night before the districts came in.”
As to the BOE officially recording and certifying the results, Allen said, “We’re doing our best here and pushing it close. … Hopefully, everything will be official before Thanksgiving, or maybe the first couple of days in that week.”
Across the County
In other Niagara County contested races:
•In Legislature District 3, Republican Christopher McKimmie (54.2%/1,178) topped Democrat Noelle Citarella (45%/981).
•Republican Christopher Voccio (63%/838) outlasted Democrat Gaelan J. Baillie (37%/495) in District 6.
•In District 9, Republican Randy Bradt (63%/2,327) bested Democrat Timothy Osborn (37%/1,371).
•District 12 is a dead heat, with Democrat Carla Speranza (50.29%/1,027) leading Republican William Collins Sr. (49.36%/1,008).
•Republican Richard Abbott (62%/1,822) defeated Democrat Bernadette Smith (38%/1,112) in District 13.
In uncontested races:
•Republican Niagara County Clerk Joseph A. Jastrzemski was reelected with almost 99% of the vote (22,257 votes).
•Republican Niagara County Legislator Irene Myers (District 1) garnered almost 98% of the vote (1,478).
•Republican Niagara County Legislature Chairwoman Becky Wydysh (District 2) earned more than 99% of the vote (759).
•Democrat Jeffrey Elder took the District 4 slot with more than 99% of the vote (675).
•Democrat Christopher Robins received more than 99% of the vote in District 5 (1,760).
•Republican Jesse Gooch netted more than 98% of the vote in District 7 (1,314).
•Republican Richard Andres has more than 98% of the District 8 vote (1,684).
•Republican David Godfrey garnered more than 98% of the District 10 vote (1,494).
•Republican Anthony Nemi earned more than 99% of the vote in District 11 (1,353).
•Republican Shawn Foti took the District 14 vote with almost 99% of the vote (2,259).
•Republican Michael Hill received more than 99% of the District 15 vote (1,800).