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City Comptroller Joel A. Giambra deserves the backing of Erie County Republicans in his bid to face incumbent County Executive Dennis T. Gorski this November.

The GOP primary pits Giambra against Jeffrey L. Baran, a personable Clarence businessman who founded the Christian Coalition of New York. Giambra's performance and long experience as city comptroller, though, give him a clear edge in this primary campaign for a job requiring extensive skills in governmental financial management.

Two district seats in the Erie County Legislature also are contested in major-party primaries this year. In the Third District, incumbent George A. Holt Jr., chairman of the Legislature's Social Services Committee, deserves the Democratic Party line over retired sheriff's deputy and veteran candidate John E. Hemphill. Fourth District incumbent Judith P. Fisher's experience and clear grasp of countywide as well as localized issues also earn her The News' Democratic primary endorsement over challenger Leon J. Colucci, who already has the GOP line for November's general election.

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