Weekly Feature



2017-11-09 / Front Page

Close call: County, local races have candidates winning by narrow margins

by AMY ROBB AND BRYAN JACKSON Editor and Cheektowaga Editor


Democratic challenger John Bruso casts his vote during the early hours of Election Day, and by night’s end had scored a victory against incumbent Erie County Legislator Ted Morton. 
Photo by Don DalyPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Democratic challenger John Bruso casts his vote during the early hours of Election Day, and by night’s end had scored a victory against incumbent Erie County Legislator Ted Morton. Photo by Don DalyPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Newcomer Adam Dickman and incumbent Ronald Ruffino Sr. are the projected winners of the Lancaster Town Council race, narrowly besting Robert Leary and John Abraham Jr. for two seats on the board.

Dickman ran on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform lines, while Ruffino ran on the Democratic, Green, Working Families, Independence and Women’s Equality lines.

Vote totals, with all 34 districts reporting, had Dickman at 5,593 votes and Ruffino with 5,255, while Leary garnered 5,236 votes, a difference of only 19 from Ruffino, and Abraham had 5,097.

The race initially had Ruffino in the lead by a narrow margin, but as numbers continued to come in, Dickman pulled ahead, leaving fellow Republican Leary and Democratic incumbent Abraham behind.


Outgoing Legislator Ted Morton votes at the community center of Sky Harbor Estates on Nov. 7. Morton lost to Democratic candidate John Bruso. 
Photo by Jim SmerecakPurchase color photos atwww.BeeNews.com Outgoing Legislator Ted Morton votes at the community center of Sky Harbor Estates on Nov. 7. Morton lost to Democratic candidate John Bruso. Photo by Jim SmerecakPurchase color photos atwww.BeeNews.com “I wouldn’t say it’s a surprise; we’ve worked very, very hard on it. It’s a very proud feeling and I look forward to working for the residents of Lancaster and with the other board members,” said Dickman.

“If [Leary] doesn’t pull it off, I know there are still the absentees and things like that, I might have a small challenge being the only Republican on the board. I feel that I can work with everybody that’s on there. I can work with them as long as they’re willing to work with me.”

Also, Democrat John Bruso unseated incumbent Republican Ted Morton for a spot in the Erie County Legislature, in what was an important election night for Democrats in local races.

In the race for Erie County’s 8th District, Bruso captured 52 percent of the vote, receiving 10,463 votes, to win the seat and flip the Legislature to Democratic control. Morton, who was attempting to win a third term in the 11-member governing body, garnered 9,832 votes, or 48 percent of the vote. He also ran on Reform, Conservative and Independence lines.

The turnout was at 35 percent. The 8th District covers part of Cheektowaga, as well as Lancaster and Alden.

In his victory speech at Democratic headquarters, Bruso, a former UPS employee who was also endorsed by the Working Families, Women’s Equality and Green parties, called the win a testament to bringing voters together.

“We talked about, when we started this a little under a year ago, we wanted to work with people. We wanted to bring people together,” he said. “We wanted to have cooperation in county government, and we’re going to do that, folks. We’re going to make some good things happen.”

In the Cheektowaga Town Council race, three Democrats — James Rogowski, Timothy Meyers and Brian Nowak — won easily for the trio of contested seats. According to unofficial results from the Erie County Board of Elections, Rogowski and Meyers, both incumbents, led the way with 10,688 and 9,956 votes, respectively. Rogowski took home 22 percent of the vote, while Meyers netted 21 percent. Nowak won his first term to the board with 8,991 votes, good for 19 percent of the vote, after pacing the Democratic field in September’s Primary.

Rogowski also ran on the Conservative and Working Families lines, Meyers also appeared as a Conservative, and Nowak also had Working Families and Women’s Equality Party endorsements.

The closest contenders were Republicans Patrick Delaney and Doreen Friedrich, who each tallied 10 percent of the vote, with 4,848 and 4,586 votes, respectively. The duo also appeared as Reform candidates.

Current board member Alice Magierski, a Democrat running on the Conservative line, came in fifth place with 4,248 votes, or 9 percent of the total.

Republican and Reform candidate Roger Heymanowski collected 3,881 votes, for 8 percent, and Green Party candidate Carol Przybylak rounded out the field with 615 votes, or 1 percent.

The turnout was 28 percent.

In the countywide races, Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard was leading Bernie Tolbert by 51-49 percent of the vote with 99 percent of the districts reporting at press time. Howard had 106,578 votes to Tolbert’s 102,728.

Howard was on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform party lines, while Tolbert was on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality lines.

In the race to fill the vacant Erie County clerk’s office, Mickey Kearns held a 52-48 percent lead. Kearns garnered 105,801 votes to Steve Cichon’s 97,952.

Kearns was on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform party lines, while Cichon was on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality lines.

Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw won a decisive victory over challenger Vanessa Glushefski by 55-45 percent. Mychajliw collected 112,547 votes to Glushefski’s 90,910.

Mychajliw was on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform lines, while Glushefski was on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines.

Statewide Proposition 1, asking for approval of a constitutional convention, was defeated 83-17 percent.

All results are unofficial as of press time.

Further information about the elections can be found at www.elections.erie.gov.

David Sherman, Bee managing editor, and Keaton De- Priest, Amherst associate editor, contributed to this article.

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