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Niagara coroner loses GOP line in election bid

NIAGARA FALLS – Niagara County Coroner James E. Carroll, a Republican, won’t be able to run on that party’s line in the November election.

The county Board of Elections invalidated Carroll’s GOP nominating petition July 29 after a successful challenge from a Republican voter, Michael P. Fleming of Niagara Falls. Jason J. Cafarella, the Democratic attorney who notarized the challenge, said Fleming and the Democratic nominee, Dwon M. Daniels Sr., are friends and fellow Niagara Falls firefighters.

Carroll will appear on the Conservative and Independence Party lines in November, in his race for a four-year term. He and Daniels are running in District 1, which covers only the City of Niagara Falls. Carroll lives in Porter, but unlike most other elected officials, coroners aren’t required to live in the districts they represent.

Jennifer M. Fronczak, GOP election commissioner, said Carroll’s Republican nominating petition carried 248 signatures, which was only four more than the 244 required to qualify for the GOP line on the ballot. Fleming challenged 32 of the signatures.

Fronczak and her Democratic counterpart, Lora A. Allen, agreed that 13 signatures really were invalid, pushing Carroll’s total down to 235, nine below the threshold. In most cases, the challenged signers were not registered Republicans, making them ineligible to sign a GOP nominating petition.

Carroll, 71, was appointed by the County Legislature March 11 to hold the District 1 coroner post for the rest of this year. Carroll, who formerly served as an officer with the U.S. Border Patrol and the Town of Lewiston police, replaced Cindy-Lou Joyce, a Wheatfield Democrat, who retired as coroner Jan. 31 after serving since 2008. The part-time job pays $17,500 a year.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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