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Voter turnout is predicted to be record

BATAVIA -- Genesee County election commissioners expect a record turnout for the Nov. 4 election despite a lack of local contests.

Registration of new voters has soared to 1,451, divided almost equally among Republicans, Democrats and non-affiliated. There are also about 1,500 absentee ballots, about the usual number, according to commissioners Dawn E. Cassidy and Richard E. Siebert.

The influx of new voters reflects interest in the presidential campaign and close congressional and State Senate races.

Three key figures on the local political scene are unopposed. They are Assemblyman Stephen M. Hawley, R-Batavia, running for a second full term; Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha, seeking a seventh four-year term; and Genesee's treasurer, Scott D. German, sure of a second term.

Hawley represents the northern half of Genesee and all of Orleans County. Assemblyman Daniel T. Burling, R-Warsaw, has the other half of Genesee and parts of other counties. He is opposed by Democrat Philip A. Jones.

Among candidates for whom Genesee is part of their district, Michael H. Ranzenhofer, a Republican Erie County legislator, has been a frequent visitor as has his Democratic rival, retired boxer Joe Mesi. Each seeks to succeed Mary Lou Rath, R-Williamsville, in the State Senate.

Only two of the county's 13 towns have contests. Eight others have no local election, and three are running candidates who are unopposed.

In Le Roy, incumbent Councilman Thomas Stella is supported by the Democratic and Conservative parties in his bid to defeat Republican Robert D. Taylor Jr.

There are three candidates for justice of the peace in Darien. They are Democrat Lawrence Stabell, Republican Michael Davis, and Conservative Richard W. Wurl.

Running without opponents, all Republicans, are Batavia Town Justice Thomas D. Williams, Bergen Justice Robert G. Swapceinski and Council Member Rachel J. Millspaugh, and Pavilion Council Member Linda M. Thompson.

Alabama, Alexander, Bethany, Byron, Elba, Oakfield, Pembroke and Stafford have no town contests.

The GOP leads 45-27 percent among the county's 34,823 enrolled voters.

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