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Candidates' financial disclosure uneven

Failure by several Niagara County candidates, mostly Republicans, to comply with legal deadlines for filing financial disclosure forms made it difficult last week to determine who is spending the most money leading up to Tuesday's primary election.

Only one of the three candidates in the North Tonawanda GOP mayoral race had filed all the disclosures required by state law, according to data on file late last week at the Board of Elections.

That was Arthur G. Pappas, the Board of Education president. Incumbent Mayor David J. Burgio and County Legislature Clerk Michael P. Carney had not filed since Aug. 12.

State law requires all candidates to file a list of donations and campaign expenditures on July 15, and candidates with primaries also had to file on Aug. 12 and Sept. 2.

As of Sept. 2, Pappas had spent $14,029. He raised $9,989 in donations, spent $4,100 of his own money and accepted a $1,100 loan from a relative. His largest donation was $500 from the city firefighters union.

As of Aug. 12, Carney had raised $6,132 and spent $5,202. The county Republican Committee, which endorsed him, gave him $1,150. Burgio had spent $2,899 through Aug. 12 and reported only $350 in donations.

In County Legislature primaries, of the seven endorsed Republicans running, not one had filed all his forms.

Incumbent Rebecca E. Cuddahee of the 3rd District and political newcomers Joseph S. Urso of the 4th District and Joseph A. Vacanti Jr. of the 9th District filed no forms at all. Incumbent Glenn S. Aronow of the 15th District had not filed since July 15, and incumbents Jason J. Murgia of the 1st District and Danny W. Sklarski of the 6th District and candidate John D. Ceretto of the 12th District last filed Aug. 12.

County Republican Chairman Henry F. Wojtaszek said Friday he would contact the tardy candidates and urge them to file immediately.

The endorsed Democrats in the Legislature primaries had a better record for filing their disclosures. Robert S. LaBarbera of the 6th District, Michael A. Johnson of the 12th and W. Keith McNall of the 16th and incumbents Dennis F. Virtuoso of the 4th District and William M. Davignon of the 9th were up to date.

Thomas J. Scozzafava of the 1st District last filed Aug. 10, while James C. Stewart of the 3rd District last filed July 31. Paul A. Mattuccilli III, a 3rd District hopeful, had not filed at all.

In the Lockport city judge race, challenger Thomas M. DiMillo had raised $18,749 through the end of August and spent $9,918. He had used $5,800 of his own money.

Incumbent William J. Watson had spent $11,144 and raised $7,201 in contributions. He also took a $5,000 loan from his parents, later repaying $3,750.

Democratic candidate David E. Blackley had raised $2,598 and spent $1,093 as of Sept. 2.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com1

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