At least two adversaries will square off in the September primary for the Republican nomination for Clarence supervisor.
The town's GOP Committee voted Tuesday to endorse Councilman Ian R. McPherson over Supervisor Kathleen E. Hallock as the party candidate for the post.
Hallock, who several weeks ago announced plans to seek re-election, said she was disappointed but not surprised by the snub.
"I guess I'm not the darling of the local Republican Party, even though I feel I do represent the interests of the Republican people in this town," Hallock said Thursday.
Those interests, she said, include sticking to the platform on which she ran two years ago. That is, putting local developers on notice that Erie County's fastest-growing town was pulling up the welcome mat.
McPherson, meanwhile, insists that a more evenhanded approach is required. A last-minute nominee from the floor of Tuesday's endorsement meeting, McPherson said he did not seek the party's endorsement beforehand.
"Even though I am on the committee, I was not involved in any of the discussions among the committeemen," McPherson said in a telephone interview Thursday.
He said Hallock and the committee battled over policy issues, though Hallock insists no such issues were raised at Tuesday's meeting.
"They said they wanted me to support the other endorsed candidates, and I said I would not work for them or against them," she said.
The party's other two candidates, Councilwoman Barbara A. Guida and Councilman Thomas Sweeney, are seeking re-election in November. To support them, Hallock said, would mean working against Anne Case, her own deputy supervisor, who has announced that she is an Independence Party candidate for one of the two open seats.
"I told the committee that I would not be endorsing any candidate, including Anne," Hallock said.
The upcoming battle between Hallock and McPherson has been brewing for months. The two often are on opposite sides of crucial Town Board votes on development.
Hallock says she tends to adhere more strictly than others on the Town Board to the town's master plan as a means to control growth.
"When prospective home buyers come to Clarence, they should be able to predict what the areas near their homes are going to look like in the coming years by looking at the master plan. If we circumvent that, we're defeating the spirit of the master plan," Hallock said.
McPherson said efforts to control growth already are covered by the master plan and by capping yearly building permits at 240. Hallock, he said, seeks to go too far.
"Without a certain amount of controlled growth, all of the things that contribute to the quality of life we enjoy in Clarence would not be affordable," McPherson said.