Who’s the underdog now?
West Seneca Supervisor Sheila Meegan said she intends to campaign hard on three minor party lines for the general election in November, after apparently coming up short in the Democratic primary Thursday.
Challenger Christina Wleklinski Bove has a 42-vote lead over Meegan in the primary, with at least 108 absentee ballots to be counted Thursday. A total of 222 absentee ballots were sent out.
“It was a low turnout, which is unfortunate,” Meegan said. “We ran a very positive and productive campaign.”
If Bove hangs on to win when the absentee ballots are counted next week, Meegan will try to win reelection on three minor party lines: the Conservative, Working Families and Independence parties. There is no Republican candidate for supervisor.
Although rare, it is possible to win a major race without major party backing. Jimmy Griffin did it in 1977, when he won his first election as Buffalo mayor on the Conservative line, and former Erie County Legislator Charles M. Swanick won re-election in 2003 on the Independence and Conservative party lines.
“I will continue to do what I do: work hard for the people,” Meegan said. “Hopefully the result in November will be in our favor.”
Bove, the former town councilwoman and Erie County legislator, said she was “stunned” with the results Thursday night.
The Democratic line is the only one she was running on, and the race would be over if she lost.
But she is not declaring victory.
“I’m 42 up, the absentees have not been counted. It’s not over yet,” she said. “You have to go right to the end, it has to be proven.”
Bove said the results prove that voters want a change.
“If people are satisfied in how things are going, they don’t bother coming out in a primary,” she said.
There also is a 43-vote difference in the Democratic primary for councilman, with incumbent Councilman Eugene P. Hart Jr. ahead of challenger Dave Monolopolus.
There was another close race for Town Board in Hamburg, with Thomas Best Jr. , an M&T Bank officer who is a former Hamburg police officer and current Frontier School Board member, ahead of incumbent Councilwoman Cheryl Potter-Juda, a retired Lackawanna teacher, by 47 votes.
There were 247 absentee ballots requested, and 120 of them have been returned so far, according to the Board of Elections. They also are to be counted Thursday.
In Clarence, Councilman Patrick Casilio spent Thursday night picking up campaign signs. He had just beaten incumbent Supervisor David C. Hartzell Jr. in the Republican primary, assuring him the supervisor’s job in January, but it is the tradition in Clarence to remove the signs within 24 hours of the election.
“My plan wasn’t to be up 24 hours,” he said, but he added that he couldn’t sleep after soundly defeating Hartzell. After getting the signs, he spent part of Friday morning working on next year’s budget, he said.