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VOTERS TO CHOOSE BETWEEN TWO REPUBLICANS FOR MAYOR

For the second consecutive election, city voters will choose between two Republicans for mayor in the Nov. 4 general election.

The Democrats have not fielded a mayoral candidate since 1993, when Alphonso R. Stornelli lost to Kenneth D. Swan.

Swan, now running for his third two-year term, faces off against 6th Ward Alderwoman Cyd L. Bennett, whom he defeated in the Republican primary by a vote of 1,193 to 1,073.

Swan also has the Democratic, Liberal and Right to Life party lines. He was granted the Democratic line by county Democratic chairman Nicholas J. Forster, but was not formally endorsed by that party.

Swan was the endorsed Democratic candidate in 1995, when he defeated then-Alderman Warren P. "Clip" Smith in the general election after losing to Smith in the GOP primary.

Miss Bennett, 31, running as the nominee of the Conservative, Independence and Freedom parties, said despite her primary loss, her campaign "hasn't slowed down a bit."

Asked how she differs from fellow Republican Swan, Miss Bennett, who has served three years on the Common Council, cited her "ability to get along with department heads and city employees," with whom Swan has had some public differences.

"I'm not paranoid. I truly have the interests of the city at heart," she said.

Swan, 56, said Miss Bennett's campaign has featured "a lot of personal attacks. Personally, I haven't heard any issues we could disagree on."

Swan said he'd like to discuss the city's new comprehensive plan, currently being developed, tourism promotion, reallocation of city personnel and reform in the size of the Council and the length of members' terms.

Miss Bennett's campaign literature calls for a tax cut, setting up a confidential drug hot line in the mayor's office, obtaining state and federal funding for a volleyball hall of fame in Lockport and seeking advice from experts in urban redevelopment at the University at Buffalo.

In the only other citywide election, City Treasurer James W. Ashcraft Jr., a Republican, is unopposed for his 10th two-year term.

Voters also will fill the eight seats on the Common Council, which currently is split 4-4 between Democrats and Republicans.

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