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Party lines set for county, town elections Amherst, others expect hot races

Buffalo had its excitement in Tuesday's mayoral primary. All Erie County voters on Nov. 3 will decide important posts for their town and county governments.

Expect bumper crops of campaign lawn signs to sprout in suburban subdivisions. For example:

Voters will elect a new supervisor in Amherst, Erie County's largest town, and races for town supervisor in Hamburg and Aurora will likely catch fire, too.

County Legislature races will rage in certain suburban districts as County Executive Chris Collins seeks to remove the Democratic "obstructionists" who have been in his way.

The race for sheriff will click into gear as Democrat John Glascott, a Cheektowaga police captain, tries to replace incumbent Republican Timothy B. Howard.

Even the race for county comptroller -- who deals with such government glamours as audits and revenue-anticipation notes -- will generate heat. Collins is bent on replacing Democrat Mark C. Poloncarz with a financial watchdog who doesn't annoy him so much, Republican Philip C. Kadet.

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown secured a second four-year term in Tuesday's Democratic primary. In just a couple of months, Erie County's most populous community behind Buffalo -- Amherst -- will elect its new chief executive.

It won't be Satish Mohan, who burst on the scene four years ago,

then kept his promise to serve only one term.

It's likely to be either Alice Kryzan or Barry Weinstein, the major-party candidates.

Democrat Kryzan, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year, secured the Independence line in Tuesday's primary to go with the Working Families Party line she already held.

Republican Weinstein, a member of the Town Board, is a physician and an attorney and a former county legislator.

Former Amherst Council Member William Kindel is on the ballot, too, on the Conservative line.

In Hamburg, Republican Supervisor Steven Walters faces two challengers: attorney Dennis Gaughan, who won the Independence line Tuesday, and school administrator Patricia Michalek, who won the Democratic line.

Aurora's race for supervisor is another multicandidate affair. Supervisor Dwight Krieger kept alive his chance to return for another term by winning a three-way Republican primary. But his primary opponents remain in the race -- Jolene Jeffe on the Independence and Conservative lines, and former Supervisor Thomas Cotton as the Democratic and Working Families candidate.

Collins was pleased Wednesday that the candidates he supports for County Legislature defeated well-known incumbents for the Independence line.

Collins and his strategists hope that by adding to their three-member Republican bloc they can influence next year's selection of the Legislature chairman and then force a new proposal to shrink the 15-member Legislature.

But Independence Party primaries are small events when compared with election contests between major-party candidates. These County Legislature races will be the ones to watch:

Lynne Dixon of Hamburg, a former television reporter with name recognition, goes against Robert B. Reynolds of Hamburg, an incumbent Democrat. Dixon has the Republican Party line and picked up the Independence line Tuesday when she trounced Reynolds in that primary.

Political science professor Kevin R. Hardwick of the City of Tonawanda easily won the Independence line over Democratic incumbent Michele M. Iannello of Kenmore. Collins wants Iannello defeated and encouraged the Republican Hardwick to run.

Republican Shelly Schratz of Amherst won the Independence line over Amherst Democrat Thomas A. Loughran, the two-term incumbent in District 14. The district's voters have elected Republicans in the past.

The Collins team also believes it has a fighting chance to elect a Republican in District 9. The West Seneca-area district frequently elects Democrats, but this year two well-known Democratic names will be on the ballot: Christina Wlekinski Bove and Timothy M. Wroblewski. Wroblewski is the incumbent who will run on the Conservative line because he lost the Democratic line to Bove. With two Democrats on the ballot, can Republican Brian D. Wirth squeak through?

e-mail: mspina@buffnews.com

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