Weekly Feature

2017-09-14 / Front Page

Democratic Town Council race down to absentee ballots

2017 primary election results

The race for the final Democratic line in November’s general election will come down to absentee and affidavit ballots, after Tuesday’s primary ended with just 44 votes between James P. Rogowski and Alice Magierski for third place.

Rogowski garnered 1,926 votes and Magierski scored 1,882, leaving the two incumbents in a virtual tie with 23 percent of the vote.

Both candidates trailed political newcomer Brian Nowak and incumbent Tim Meyers, who took first and second place, earning 2,255 and 2,080 votes, respectively. Additionally, there were 75 write-in votes, accounting for 1 percent of the total. The Cheektowaga Democratic Committee endorsed Nowak, Meyers and Rogowski.

Now, it is expected to be a few weeks before the final line is decided.

According to Erie County Board of Elections official Mario Alaimo, 203 absentee ballots are currently in hand, and the deadline to receive correctly postmarked ballots is Tuesday, Sept. 19. Affidavit ballots could also play a role, but Alaimo did not expect there to be many, considering this year’s low voter turnout. Right now, elections officials are waiting for any additional mailed absentee ballots and separating those and the affidavit ballots.

“Tuesday, we’ll start the opening of the absentees, and once those are opened and counted, then we start adding in the final totals together,” Alaimo said. “That will start probably next Wednesday, and we usually have until about the end of the month to get it done.”

Although the Democrats provided the drama Tuesday night, they were not the only party with candidates on the ballot.

Patrick Delaney took the most votes on the Reform Party ballot, earning 71 votes, for 32 percent. Doreen Friedrich garnered the next highest total with 66, and Roger Heymanowski totaled 60. All three will appear on the ballot in November, and the Cheektowaga Republican Committee also endorsed the trio. There were 24 write-in votes on the Reform Party.

In the race for the 8th Erie County Legislative District, Ted Morton, the incumbent, scored a victory on multiple lines.

On the Conservative line, Morton received 229 votes, for 67 percent of the total vote, while challenger Susan Marrano garnered 28 votes, for 8 percent. There were also 86 write-in votes, which accounted for 25 percent.

Additionally, Morton defeated Julie Bish on the Independence Party line, with a vote of 123 to 48. There were 99 write-in votes, as well.

Morton ran unopposed on the Reform Party line, taking 104 votes. There were 44 write-in votes on the line.

Green Party candidate Victor Canastraro II and Working Families Party candidate John Bruso won those parties’ lines, receiving 6 and 29 votes, respectively.

Also in the primary election, Michael Kearns received 89 percent of the Conservative votes for Erie County clerk, a vacant position.

Kearns defeated Conservative Daniel Stelley, with a vote of 1,293 to 137, and also took the Independence line over Krystyna Karstedt, who garnered 303 votes to Kearns’ 896.

On the Reform line, Kearns received 813 votes, with 58 write-in votes tallied.

Kearns is currently serving as New York State assemblyman for the 143rd District.

Voters in Cheektowaga also saw unopposed races for Erie County sheriff and Erie County comptroller on the Reform line. Running for these seats are incumbents Timothy Howard and Stefan Mychajliw, respectively. Their names will appear on November’s ballot.

Write-ins in those races accounted for 13 percent for sheriff and 8 percent for comptroller.

All results are unofficial at this time.

West Seneca Editor Jennifer Waters contributed to this report.

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