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Supervisors fend off challengers in primaries Newlin in Lewiston, Smith in Lockport

Lewiston Supervisor Fred M. Newlin II and Town of Lockport Supervisor Marc R. Smith squelched primary challenges Tuesday, but both still face opposition in the general election Nov. 3.

In Lewiston, Newlin turned back Kathryn Lake Mazierski, former president of the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women, in the Democratic primary.

Newlin polled 433 votes, to 265 for Mazierski. He moves on to face Highway Superintendent Steven L. Reiter, the Republican nominee, in the general election.

So far during the campaign, the Republican organization has ignored Reiter and has placed its financial support behind Mazierski.

"I think the artillery pieces are going to move from the Mazierski camp to the Reiter camp," predicted Newlin, a longtime target of the county GOP organization.

"What Lewiston defeated here was another mean-spirited attempt by politicians in North Tonawanda, especially [Niagara County Republican Chairman] Henry Wojtaszek, to take over our town," Newlin said.

He said he won despite being outspent and being outdone in the battle to fill up voters' mailboxes with political matter. "Those efforts were turned back. Lewiston doesn't go for negative campaigning," Newlin said.

Mazierski is the endorsed candidate of the Independence Party for November, while Reiter has the Conservative nomination and Newlin the Working Families Party nod. However, there were write-in efforts against the endorsed choices in all three minor parties; their results were unavailable late Tuesday. Newlin also filed petitions to obtain an independent ballot line for November.

In Lockport, complete but unofficial returns showed Smith defeating auto repair shop owner David J. Mongielo to win the Republican primary, 587-253.

Mongielo, although a registered Republican, also has the Democratic nomination, meaning he has another shot at toppling Smith in November.

"This is a marathon. We're only at the halfway point," said Smith, running for his third two-year term.

He ran on his record, which most recently included the town's success in luring Internet giant Yahoo! to build its $150 million East Coast data center in the town's industrial park, which is expected to create 75 jobs.

Mongielo, who entered the race after being sued by the town to prevent him from using an electronic sign in front of his Robinson Road store, criticized the Yahoo! deal because the town granted the corporation a 10-year property tax exemption.

"We had the courage of our convictions," Smith said.

Smith's fellow GOP incumbents, Councilmen Mark C. Crocker and Paul H. Pettit, turned back primary challengers Donna J. Pieszala and David T. Devereaux. But as was the case in the supervisor contest, Pieszala and Devereaux have the Democratic line and thus another chance in November.

With the top two vote-getters winning the race, Pettit polled 618 votes and Crocker 532, to 259 for Pieszala and 249 for Devereaux.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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