Edward D. Mooradian won the unanimous endorsement of the Amherst Republican Committee this week in his run for town supervisor.
He was the only candidate to seek the committee's backing.
Party leaders said Mooradian's charisma, combined with his history as a school administrator, won the committee over.
"They liked the fresh face, the leadership qualities," said Robert Gilmour, chairman of the town's Republican committee. "They liked the very positive attitude. He's got a very strong presence. He's a very likable individual."
"We unanimously and very strongly endorsed Ed Mooradian," Councilman Bob Brewer said Friday.
Many of Mooradian's former students have turned out to be his strongest supporters.
Town Clerk Susan Jaros had Mooradian, who is now 64, as a biology teacher when she attended Williamsville South High School. Brewer had Mooradian as a gym teacher at South. Mooradian taught and coached football there in the last half of the 1960s.
Others remember Mooradian as the assistant principal at Williamsville North, a post he held in the 1970s. He later went on to become principal at Depew Middle School.
Mooradian's former students remember him as a patient, even-tempered educator who established a reputation for strict discipline.
"You knew what was expected of you in class, what was expected of you as a football player," Brewer said. "If you did your best and followed him, he was your best friend."
"You knew you couldn't get away with a whole lot with him, but he never ranted and raved," Jaros said. "He was cool, calm and collected -- but in charge."
It's that take-charge attitude, many Republicans say, that the town needs. Town Board meetings are notorious for lasting several hours, often until close to midnight, with name-calling and insult-hurling commonplace events.
Mooradian's track record as a solid administrator could be just what the town needs, supporters said.
"As supervisor, you've got to deal with unruly board members who spend so much time bickering," said Brewer, who admits he's done his share of bickering. "You have to know how to control them. We need somebody who can control things. And Ed's that kind of guy."
Mooradian will face Republican Councilman Bill Kindel in the September primary. The winner of that race will take on incumbent Supervisor Susan J. Grelick, a Democrat, in November.
Gilmour said the committee will vote on its endorsements for three Town Board seats in March or April.