Don't count out William P. Rogowski as the next supervisor of Cheektowaga just yet, the town's Republican Party boss said Wednesday.
Rogowski can win in November if he pulls the same GOP vote the party's candidate did four years ago and holds on to the 40 percent Democratic vote he got in Tuesday's primary, according to Republican town Chairman Russell M. Carveth.
But a lot depends on how Joel A. Giambra, the Republican opposing Cheektowaga favorite son Dennis T. Gorski for county executive, draws on Gorski's home turf, Carveth cautioned.
"We have to energize our Republican voters and I believe Joel will do it. Jack Quinn drew them and I see Joel as another Jack Quinn," Carveth said, referring to the charismatic Republican elected in a heavily Democratic congressional district a few years ago.
Rogowski, the 20-year Town Board veteran defeated in Tuesday's Democratic primary by incumbent Supervisor Dennis H. Gabryszak, has been the GOP's candidate since spring. In fact, some loyalist Democrats feel he would have done better Tuesday if he had not defected to the other side for the November campaign.
Meanwhile Wednesday, the Board of Elections had Rogowski an unofficial 64-to-46 winner over Gabryszak in the Independence Party primary. If it holds up, the challenger will have three ballot lines in November -- Republican, Right to Life and Independence.
Gabryszak will have the Democratic and, probably, the Conservative line. The Board of Elections said Gabryszak received 90 votes in Tuesday's Conservative primary, but that write-in votes for Rogowski have not yet been tallied.
Carveth said Giambra must do well in Cheektowaga for Rogowski to upset Gabryszak in November. In a spirited county executive race four years ago, Republican Janice Kowalski-Kelly pulled more than 10,000 votes to about 16,500 for Gabryszak, he noted.
Cheektowaga has 32,500 Democrats, 14,000 Republicans and 7,700 independent voters.
With those numbers, Republicans reason that for Rogowski to have a legitimate shot in November, they must deliver about 10,000 votes while Rogowski keeps the 40 percent Democratic support he showed in Tuesday's primary and at least splits the unaffiliated vote.
"From what I've observed, there are a lot of Democrats out there ready to cross over the line to Joel," Carveth said.
Gabryszak spent Wednesday relishing a victory he described as his most satisfying because of "all the negativity" stemming from the Rogowski camp.
"That's not the route I want to take (for the November campaign) and I'm not going to respond to these attacks any longer. I think the people are tired of that stuff . . . the negativity," Gabryszak said.
"I want to take it a higher level, not deeper into the mud," he said.
The primary winner was asked what he thinks he will remember most about Tuesday 10 or 20 years from now.
"Looking back, the thing that will probably stick with me most will be watching my son vote for the first time. He worked on my mailings at home, doing the labels, so it was really a special thing," Gabryszak said.
Gabryszak's son Brian, 18, has Down's syndrome.