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Democrats lead in all board races

The Democratic takeover of the Tonawanda Town Board was almost complete early today, with Democrats leading all of the races on the ballot.

At midnight, with 62 of the town's 87 districts reporting, Anthony F. Caruana was on top in the supervisor's race with 9,258 votes, compared with Republican Robert L. Newman's 5,478.

Melissa M. Brinson was ahead in the town clerk balloting with 7,751 votes, while Republican Jennifer J. Tresch had 6,146.

And Daniel J. Crangle was heading toward a second full term on the Town Board, leading Republican Gail O'Connor, 8,691 to 5,295.

In the contentious three-way race for two seats on the Tonawanda Town Court bench, the winners appear to be J. Mark Gruber, a Republican who also received the Democratic endorsement, and John J. Flynn, who also had the Democratic endorsement.

Gruber received 13,632 votes; Flynn had 7,848. Republican Kevin Stocker had 6,527.

All terms are four years. Results are unofficial.

Meanwhile, in Kenmore, Democrats ran uncontested for the mayor's job and two seats on the Village Board. There's only one Republican lawmaker remaining. Patrick Mang, now a trustee, is the new mayor, and Trustees Katherine Bestine and R. Timothy McCarthy retained their seats.

John W. Beaumont, the current mayor, decided not to seek re-election.

Though both Kenmore and Tonawanda were longtime Republican strongholds, party support in the communities has eroded in recent years.

Democrats gained the majority on the Town Board in the 2005 elections.

Last year, a referendum approved by voters downsized the Town Board from six to four. Brinson, appointed to the board late last year, occupied one of the seats scheduled for elimination in January, while the other is occupied by Republican John E. Donnelly, who didn't seek re-election.

The election of Caruana, a retired English teacher and retired brigadier general in the Army Reserve, and Brinson, a paralegal who's president of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School Board, marks the first time new faces will occupy those offices in decades. Longtime incumbents Ronald H. Moline and Cal Champlin decided to retire.


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