Incumbent Republican Ted Morton lost his seat in a key Erie County Legislature race in the 8th District, which includes the towns of Alden, Cheektowaga and Lancaster, as well as the villages of Lancaster and Depew.
The race between the two-term incumbent and John Bruso, a Democratic newcomer, played a pivotal role in determining which party controls the 11-seat body.
Bruso's win gives Democrats at least a six-member majority, overturning a slim one-vote Republican-supported majority in the Legislature.
Bruso, 58, is a retired UPS worker who started his career as a driver and worked his way up to a supervisory position in the company's human resources department. Morton, 58, is a self-employed financial planner, who was running for his third two-year term.
Both men had named the opioid drug epidemic and the need to clean up Como Park Lake as key priorities in their campaigns.
Morton had difficulty overcoming controversy regarding his failure to properly file financial disclosure forms in 2013, and his $5,000 fine in 2013 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency for borrowing $315,000 from seven of his clients, resulting in his firing by LPL Financial.
Morton sued the county in connection with an Ethics Board fine of $500 in 2016 regarding his financial disclosure forms. The fine remains unpaid.