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PRIMARY WINNERS IN CLOSE RACES TO BE ANNOUNCED

Although still not releasing any vote totals, the Niagara County Board of Elections said Friday it will certify winners in the county's four closest major-party races.

Republican election commissioner Michael J. Norris and his Democratic counterpart, Judith M. Cirifalco, said that on Monday, they will declare Edward E. Sandusky the winner of the Republican primary for Lockport alderman at large; Mary C. Kabasakalian the victor in the GOP primary for North Tonawanda mayor; incumbent Marilynn R. Allgeier the winner in the Wilson GOP primary for town supervisor; and Hugh C. Gee Sr., one of the two candidates selected for the Republican line for Lewiston town justice.

Norris and Cirifalco said they will not give out any numbers until Monday, nor will they announce until then the winners of any of the 57 write-in primaries, all but one for minor-party lines.

Of the winners identified Friday, two were trailing when the unofficial voting machine totals were announced on primary night Sept. 14. Sandusky was losing to Jeremy Hughes, 817-790, and Allgeier was behind Jerry L. Dean, 333-329.

Dean said Wednesday he witnessed the board's recanvass and opening of absentee ballots, and said he lost 350-345.

Gee, who had a 10-vote primary night lead over incumbent Damon A. DeCastro for the second spot in the Lewiston justice race, 881-871, said a week ago that he had direct information that a recheck of impounded voting machines discovered enough errors that his lead was actually 90 votes, 955-865, too great to be overcome by the available number of absentee ballots.

First place in the race for two seats went to incumbent Thomas J. Sheeran with 1,070, according to Gee. Norris did not dispute those figures last week.

Kabasakalian had a 25-vote lead over Alderman Scott P. Kiedrowski, 681-656, as of primary night.

"Certification will be made by late Monday," Cirifalco said.

The delay in obtaining official results of the primary has caused some expressions of impatience in the local political community. Norris and Cirifalco said those critics have no concept of the difficulties they have encountered.

"It has nothing to do with Commissioner Norris and I being new," Cirifalco said. "Not even our elected officials understand the time that is put in in this office."

Norris said, "We feel strongly that we're going to do this right and accurately."

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