LOCKPORT – Tuesday’s primary election in Niagara County presents very few contests, with no county or city offices on the ballot.
There is competition for offices in four towns: justice positions in Cambria and Wheatfield, and councilman seats in Hartland and Lockport.
As a result, Lora A. Allen, the county’s Democratic election commissioner, said only 79 of the county’s 181 polling places were in use, and it wouldn’t have been that many if it weren’t for Independence Party primaries for delegates to the minor party’s regional judicial nominating convention, which endorses candidates for State Supreme Court.
In Wheatfield, longtime Town Justice John J. Mattio is being challenged by attorney Joshua I. Ramos in multiple party primaries. Mattio and Ramos are both registered Republicans, but they are competing not only in the GOP primary but also in Democratic, Conservative, Green and Working Families contests. The Republicans endorsed Mattio and the Democrats endorsed Ramos.
Cambria voters will have three choices for an open town justice seat, being vacated by the retiring Henry G. Peters. Amel S. Jowdy III, son of a current town justice and grandson of a former justice, is running against Harmony K. Retzlaff Hurtgam, resource coordinator in the City of Tonawanda treatment courts, and Cheryl L. Shoop, a licensed practical nurse and a paralegal.
Jowdy and Hurtgam are Republicans, while Shoop is registered with the Independence Party. All three are running in Republican, Democratic, Conservative and Independence primaries, while Jowdy and Shoop also entered the Working Families Party primary.
Hartland Republicans will decide a one-year unexpired Town Board term in a primary between David D. Huntington and Leif Woodman. Huntington is a fifth-grade teacher in the Royalton-Hartland school district, while Woodman is a local scoutmaster and a testing inspector at Graham Corp. in Batavia.
Town of Lockport Conservatives will have a primary for a one-year Town Board seat between appointed Republican incumbent Darlene S. DiCarlo and David J. Mongielo, a registered Conservative who has sought town and county offices several times in the past. The Conservative Party leadership authorized DiCarlo to seek its nomination, and she also will appear as the GOP candidate in November.