Election voter guide: Erie County - The Buffalo News
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Election voter guide: Erie County

Erie County

County Comptroller

Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr. (i) R, C, I

Kevin P. Gaughan D, WF

What to know: This is one of the more high-profile Erie County races in which both candidates have high name recognition. The incumbent Republican is a former TV news reporter elected in November 2012 to finish the unexpired term of Mark C. Poloncarz after the former comptroller ascended to county executive. The Democratic challenger is a private-practice attorney and activist well-known for his staunch advocacy of reducing the size of local governments. The winner will have fiscal oversight of the county’s $1.4 billion operation over the next four years.

County Legislature

District 1

Barbara Miller-Williams D

Timothy R. Hogues (i) WF

District 2

Betty Jean Grant (i) D, WF

District 3

Lynn M. Marinelli (i) D, WF

Jennifer P. Stergion R, C, I

District 4

Kevin R. Hardwick (i) R, C, I

William C. Conrad III D, WF

District 5

Thomas A. Loughran (i) D, C, WF

Robert N. Anderson R, I

District 6

Edward A. Rath (i) R, C, I

Alan K. Getter D

District 7

Patrick B. Burke D

Richard A. Zydel C, WF

Elias A. Farah R, I

District 8

Wynnie L. Fisher D, LO

Ted B. Morton R, C, I

Wesley S. Moore WF

District 9

Lynne M. Dixon (i) I, R, C

Michael R. Schraft D, WF

District 10

Joseph C. Lorigo (i) C, R, I

Lauren M. Gray D, WF

District 11

John J. Mills (i) R, C, I

What to know: Democrats currently hold a slim majority in the Legislature. Tuesday’s election could tip the balance with competitive races anticipated in, at least, four of the 11 districts. Two of the 11 seats— in the 2nd and 11th Legislative districts— are uncontested, assuring the incumbents of re-election. There are no incumbents running in the 7th and 8th districts, ensuring the prospect of newcomers for those seats. The 1st District race is a virtual repeat of the 2011 contest in which the incumbent was relegated to a minor party line on the ballot. The candidates in this race are identical, but their positions on the ballot are reversed. Seats in the Legislature are for two-year terms.

Supreme Court Justice

Mark A. Montour D, C, WF,

Paul B. Wojtaszek R, I

What to know: The candidates are each seeking election to a 14-year term on the bench. Montour, the Democratic candidate, is a Lancaster Town Justice and former 12-year member of the Lancaster Town Board. Wojtaszek, a Republican who serves in the Niagara County Legislature, is a former confidential law clerk for state Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia.

Surrogate Judge

Barbara Howe D, R, C, WF, I

What to know: Howe, who is running unopposed, is seeking a second term on the Erie County Surrogate’s Court bench, in which she has overseen cases involving adoptions, the probate of wills and administration of estates since 2004. Howe has previously served as a state Supreme Court justice and City Court judge.

Family Court Judge (elect 2)

Mary Giallanza Carney D, R, C, WF, I

Deanne M. Tripi D, R, C, WF, I

Joseph T. Jarzembek CF

What to know: Three candidates are vying for two open 10-year seats on the Family Court bench. Carney and Tripi, both of Amherst, head Downtown Buffalo legal practices that specialize in family law. Their names will appear on all the available party lines on the ballot. Jarzembek is a lawyer with the Erie County Department of Social Services. Having lost to Carney and Tripi in the Democratic primary, Jarzembek is running on a minor party line called Children First.


Timothy B. Howard (i) R, I, C

Richard E. Dobson Sr. D

Bert D. Dunn LO

What to know: Staffing and other conditions at the County Holding Center, along with each of the candidates’ views on enforcing the state Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act— otherwise known as the SAFE Act— have been the big issues in this race. The Republican incumbent, who is seeking a third four-year term as the county’s top cop, says the U.S. Constitution enjoins him from enforcing the hastily passed state legislation. The Democratic challenger, a retired 32-year veteran of the Sheriff’s office, and the third party candidate, who is a current lieutenant and 14-year veteran of the force, both disagree. They also have been very critical of the current sheriff’s performance over his past eight years at the helm. The incumbent says there have been improvements under his leadership.

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