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Newcomers vie as incumbents depart

Two longtime incumbents will not be on the ballot in the Town of Tonawanda this year, so voters will consider several fresh faces in races for four-year terms.

Ronald H. Moline is retiring as town supervisor, and vying for the job are political newcomers Anthony F. Caruana and Robert L. Newman.

Competing for the town clerk's office, which is being vacated by Cal Champlin, are newcomer Jennifer T. Tresch and Melissa M. Brinson, president of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School Board, who was appointed to the Town Board.

And in the race for one seat on the Town Board, incumbent Daniel J. Crangle's bid for a second full term is being challenged by newcomer Gail Breen O'Connor.

For more than 30 years, Caruana commanded classrooms and soldiers; he's a retired English teacher for the Depew School District and a retired brigadier general in the Army Reserve.

Because of a death of his mother, Caruana was not available for an interview this week. His campaign issued a statement saying his vision is "to ensure that the Town of Tonawanda is a safe, secure and attractive community with the best possible services, facilities, programs and environment for all residents and businesses, at the most reasonable, affordable cost." Caruana is endorsed by the Democratic, Conservative, Independence and Working Families parties.

Newman, the endorsed Republican, previously ran a chain of convenience stores for NOCO Energy Corp., his family's business. Now he's managing partner of PRO KLEAN, a company that washes, disinfects and deodorizes athletic gear. "I'm concerned about the direction the Town of Tonawanda is going in right now," he said, citing increasing crime, the need for economic development to expand the tax base and the increasing cost of government.

Brinson, a Democrat, points to 10 years of running a law office, as well as her responsibilities on the School and Town boards as qualifying her to become town clerk.

Tresch, a Republican, has years of work experience in the public and private sector; she currently is development director for Family & Children's Service of Niagara.

Crangle, a Democrat, counts facilities and programs among his accomplishments.

O'Connor is an attorney running on the Republican line. Crime, drugs and absentee landlords are among the problems that need to be addressed, she said.


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