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DEMOCRATS ENDORSE 4 IN VILLAGE RACES

Kenmore Democrats have endorsed four candidates to run in village races this fall. Three will challenge incumbent Republicans.

To be decided in the village races -- the first fall elections in Kenmore since voters decided in 1997 to change the elections from March to general Election Day in November -- are a four-year term for mayor and two four-year seats on the Village Board.

A third seat on the Village Board, carrying a two-year unexpired term, is also open in the wake of former Trustee Amy J. Murphy's move earlier this year from the Village Board to the Town Board.

John Crangle, Democratic chairman for the Town of Tonawanda, said the candidates nominated by the village party each represents a different section of Kenmore, bringing a diverse approach to village government.

"The candidates also bring together diverse backgrounds that would serve all the residents of the Village of Kenmore well," Crangle said.

Patrick Bannister, chairman of the Kenmore Democrats, was unavailable to comment Thursday.

The candidates endorsed by the Kenmore Democrats include:

For mayor, Jill Monacelli, a Euclid Avenue resident. Ms. Monacelli works in law enforcement as an Erie County probation officer, serving as a supervisor in the Juvenile/Family Court Division. Previously, she worked in the Criminal/Adult Division.

A graduate of Buffalo State College and the YMCA Institute of Public Leadership, Ms. Monacelli is co-chairwoman and past president of the Erie County Probation Officers Association. She has served as a United Way coordinator and is a founding member of Neighbors to Preserve Kenmore, a community group working for openness in government. Ms. Monacelli and her husband, James, have five children.

For a four-year term as trustee, Thomas Jones, a Victoria Boulevard resident. Jones is general manager of FSA Vended Services, a private vending machine company, and in the past has managed several small businesses. Jones and his wife, Pat, have three children.

For a four-year term as trustee, Katherine J. Bestine of North End Avenue. Ms. Bestine, an attorney with a Buffalo firm, is president of the Women Lawyers of Western New York organization and a director of the Volunteer Lawyers Project. She is also past chairwoman of the Young Lawyers Committee of the Bar Association of Erie County. In 1998, she received a Haven House award for her work as a volunteer attorney for victims of domestic violence.

For the two-year unexpired trustee term, Patrick Mang, descendant of one of Kenmore's founding families. Mang, a Bell Atlantic employee, attended Millard Fillmore College at the University at Buffalo and is an active union member with Local 1122, Communications Workers of America. He is a volunteer for the American Cancer Society and Children's Hospital and an active member of the Neighbors to Preserve Kenmore group.

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