The Erie County suburbs' most unusual primary election this year ended in defeat for Richard Reese, the Lancaster highway superintendent facing felony charges.
Reese plans to plead guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI and will be forced to resign as a result. But he harbored hopes that Lancaster residents would send him back to office in January, based on his 12-year record.
That won't happen. Reese lost his bid for the Democratic Party line in November by a margin of nearly 3 to 1. Councilman Daniel Amatura got 1,118 votes to Reese's 434, early results showed, with all but one of the town's 22 election districts reporting.
In Amherst, Alice Kryzan, the environmental lawyer who gained prominence in her high-profile 2008 Congressional race against Republican Rep. Chris Lee, strengthened her position as a serious contender in the supervisor's race by winning the Independence Party primary.
Her win over former Council Member William Kindel and challenger Jonathan LaVell will give her three lines in November. She will also carry the Democratic and Working Families nominations.
Council Member Barry Weinstein, her main opponent in the general election, will carry the Republican Party line, while Kindel still holds the Conservative Party line.
In Hamburg, attorney Dennis Gaughan lost his bid for the Democratic line for town supervisor to school administrator Patricia Michalek, but beat incumbent Steven Walters for the Independence Party line.
In West Seneca, incumbent Highway Superintendent Matt English trounced Albert Petko in the Democratic primary, winning 2,749 votes to Petko's 722.
In other suburban races:
Incumbent Town Board members William Weber earned 334 votes, and Mary Riddoch, 328, to win Republican nominations. Keith Stone, a challenger, got 135 votes.
In the race for highway superintendent, Carl Fix won the Republican line, with 247 votes to Gary Wagner's 184.
In a tight race in the Independence primary for Town Board, preliminary results, with 31 out of 34 districts reporting, showed Ramona Popowich with 141 votes; Barbara Nuchereno, with 147 votes; and incumbent Daniel Ward, with 130 votes. Others in the race: Andrew Gruszka, with 38 votes; Amy Tirella, 47 votes; Richard Jay Anderson, 105 votes; Joanne Schultz, 51 votes; and Toni Vazquez, 127 votes.
Incumbent Dwight Krieger won the race for the Republican line for town supervisor. Krieger had 639 votes to 589 for Jolene Jeffe and 313 for former Supervisor Thomas Cotton.
In the race for a Republican line for two seats on the Town Board, James Collins led with 1,088 votes, followed by Susan Friess with 953 votes and Timothy Heinrich with 655 votes.
Town justice candidates Jeffrey Markello and Anthony DiFilippo IV faced off for all five available ballot lines: Democratic, Republican, Independence, Conservative and Working Families. Markello won all but the Working Families line. DiFilippo and Markello tied for the Working Families line.
David Gunner handily beat Philip Cacccamise for the Republican line for highway superintendent, with 1,142 votes to Caccamise's 425.
Clark Borngraber and Jeffrey Gier won the two Republican spots on the November ballot for Town Board, with each receiving 124 votes. Sherman Reickart Jr. got 105 votes.
James Walter narrowly beat Councilwoman Annie Hoffman to win the Republican line in the race for town supervisor, 161-156. In the race for the Democratic line for two Town Board seats, Patrick Murphy and Richard Sheldon won, with 91 and 63 votes, respectively. David Arcara got 48 votes.
Janet Vogtli, with 7 votes, and Jennifer Hobson, with 5 votes, won the Independence primary for Town Board. Mary Clark had 4 votes, and John DiBlasi had 1 vote. Meanwhile, Dennis Jensen won the Independence line for highway superintendent, with 10 votes to Francis Gernatt Jr.'s 7 votes.
Dennis Dains easily won the Republican line in the race for highway superintendent, with 270 votes to Edward Perkins' 111 votes.
Five candidates sought the Democratic line for two Town Board seats. The candidates were: Joseph Collins, Vincent Gugliuzza, Ted Casey, Leonard Kowalski and Blasdell Mayor Ernest Jewett. Early results had Collins far ahead, with 1,300 votes, and Kowalski next, with 913 votes. Casey tallied 873; Gugliuzza, 791; and Jewett in a distant last place with 511.
Seeking the two Independence lines on the ballot were Collins, Kowalski, Gary Klumpp and Franklin Cirrincione. Collins was ahead in early results, with 136 votes, followed by Kowalski, with 99; Klumpp, 87; and Cirrincione, 81.
Seeking to win the Independence line to fill an unexpired term on the board were Jonathan Gorman and Ford Beckwith. Preliminary results had Gorman leading, with 115 votes to Beckwith's 99.
Incumbent Andrea Haxton appeared to have lost a Democratic primary challenge in the 1st Ward council race, based on preliminary results, with three out of four election districts reporting. Joseph Jerge had 250 votes; Abdulsalam Noman, 216; and Haxton, 94.
In the 3rd Ward Democratic primary, Francis Kulczyk had 234 votes to Lawrence Murphy's 75, according to final returns.
Deborah Lerner and Richard Rose won the Democratic line while Elizabeth Ackerman and Donald Darrow secured the Republican line in Town Board primaries. Incumbent Daniel Handy and newcomer Joseph Lankes -- both endorsed by the local Republican, Democratic and Conservative parties -- both were on the short end of balloting.
In the Republican primary for highway superintendent, incumbent Frederick Piasecki Jr. handily beat Ronald N. Geitter, son of the former highway superintendent. With eight out of nine districts reporting, Piasecki had 837 votes to Geitter's 276.
William Hopkins lost both the Republican and Conservative lines in the race for town justice against Sharlene Vossler and Joni Farleo, respectively.
>City of Tonawanda
There were mayoral primaries for both the Independence and Democratic lines.
Incumbent Ronald Pilozzi overcame a challenge from Rick Davis Jr. and Ralph Abramo for the Independence line. Pilozzi had 49 votes to Davis' 35, and Abramo's 5 votes.
Davis won the Democratic line, with 467 votes to Jay Ralph's 216.
Charles Gilbert won a three-way Independence primary for 1st Ward Council member, with 20 votes. Colleen Perkins had 11 votes, and Heather Little had 3.
Richard Slisz won the Democratic primary for 3rd Ward Council member, with 97 votes to James Kossow's 71. Kossow, though, won the Independence primary, 12-10, over Slisz.
And in the 4th Ward, William Poole won the Democratic line, with 153 votes to Steven Sommers' 123. Sommers won the Independence line, with 8 votes, compared to 4 votes for Poole and 2 for Kimberly Davis.
>Town of Tonawanda
Incumbent highway superintendent Bradley Rowles beat back a challenge in the Independence primary from Councilman Daniel Crangle. With all but one of the 35 districts reporting, Rowles had 157 votes, to Crangle's 117.
In the Independence primary for Town Board, with three seats available, incumbent Lisa Chimera had 186 votes; challenger Jim McGee had 160; and incumbent Joseph Emminger had 146, according to preliminary results. Incumbent John Bargnesi Jr. was last, with 125 votes.