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QUINN PULLS OFF EASY VICTORY FOR ASSEMBLY SEAT
POLITICAL NOVICE OUTGUNS VETERANS PORDUM, HOAK

Jack Quinn, previously a political unknown -- but with a well-known father by the same name -- defeated two political veterans Tuesday to capture the 146th Assembly seat.

With 98 percent of the vote counted, Quinn, a Republican, had 52 percent of the vote to Democrat Francis J. Pordum's 37 percent.

Hamburg Supervisor Patrick H. Hoak, running on the Conservative and Independence lines after losing in the Democratic primary to Pordum, had 11 percent of the vote.

Quinn had 30,727 votes to Pordum's 21,475. Hoak had 6,674.

Some political observers felt Hoak would pull enough votes away from Pordum to hand the election to Quinn, but as it turned out Quinn didn't need the help.

The son of retiring Rep. Jack Quinn Jr. ran a strong, well-financed campaign, took advantage of his father's popularity and talked about "continuing in the Quinn tradition of working with both parties."

Quinn, 26, will replace retiring Assemblyman Richard A. Smith.

An attorney and former prosecutor in the district attorney's office, Quinn promised to make improving the Western New York economy and creating jobs his top priority.

He said he would be a reformer and work to end the "three men in a room" government in Albany and push for reforms that would mandate adoption of a state budget on time.

Even Hoak said he had to admire the Quinn campaign. "He ran an excellent campaign, dealing with the issues," Hoak said. "He worked very hard."

Quinn was introduced to the crowd at Republican headquarters in the Rich Renaissance Niagara to the strains of the song "The Mighty Quinn." County Republican Chairman Robert E. Davis said he believes Quinn is the only new Republican elected to the Assembly in the state.

Legislature races in Western New York offered few surprises, with incumbents holding on to their seats despite resentment against Albany's ineffectiveness in dealing with local problems.

Democrat Byron W. Brown was gaining about 80 percent of the vote to retain his Buffalo-area Senate seat over challenger Alfred T. Coppola.

In Niagara County, Democratic incumbent Francine DelMonte was holding onto her Assembly seat, beating back a challenge by Paula M. Banks Dahlke.

Incumbent Republican George D.j Maziarz easily regained his Senate seat over Republican Matthew J. Bova.

Mark J.F. Schroeder, a county legislator seeking the Assembly seat vacated by Brian Higgins, grabbed more than 70 percent of the vote.

Elsewhere in New York, Republicans looked to protect their 37-24 margin of control in the Senate. At least four seats were in play, including a Bronx race to fill a vacancy of a veteran Republican convicted of bribery. Lawmakers and lobbyists predicted that if the Republicans lost more than two seats, it could set the stage for a battle to replace the powerful Senate majority leader, Joseph Bruno.

The fight in the Senate hit Onondaga, Westchester and Nassau counties, as well as districts in New York. Senate Democrats claimed victory in two races -- Diane Savino in Brooklyn and Jose Serrano in part of Manhattan and the Bronx.

e-mail: ternst@buffnews.com

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