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Three-way race set for supervisor

Tuesday's primary results set up a three-way race for supervisor in the Town of Hamburg.

While endorsed Democrat Patricia Michalek knocked off Dennis Gaughan in the Democratic primary, incumbent Republican Steven J. Walters failed to do the same in the Independence primary.

That leaves Gaughan, 53, a first-time candidate who has been involved in party politics for years, running on a minor party line.

"I'm really looking forward to continuing my run for this office," said Gaughan, a lawyer who gained a thirst for campaigning. "But realistically, having one line, it would be difficult to win."

It leaves Michalek, another first-time candidate, and Walters, the first-term incumbent, battling it out on the major lines.

"I'm the reform candidate," Michalek said. "I'm pleased that people came out the way they did."

She said she thought that voters connected with her on a human level.

"When I met people, they met this human being they connected to," she said.

Michalek, 55, curriculum and instruction coordinator for St. Mary's School for the Deaf, said that she was not afraid to answer any questions residents posed to her and that she will run a similar campaign against Walters in November. She has spoken at several Town Board meetings, asking Walters for financial information on the town.

Walters, 34, meanwhile, has a record of nearly four years to run on. Among his accomplishments, he counts two consecutive years of tax decreases and spending reduced to 2004 levels, as well as departmental restructuring to save money.

"I have accomplished substantive downsizing measures that have saved the taxpayers millions of dollars," Walters told The Buffalo News.

Walters, who is a lawyer, said he has been able to work with unions to produce cost-saving measures, such as a single health care provider.

The Town Board race for November will see Republicans Amy Carroll Ziegler, Bryan Wittmeyer and David Bellissimo facing Democrats Leonard Kowalski, Joseph Collins and Jonathan Gorman.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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