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Familiar faces win in Barker

Two familiar faces in village government were elected Tuesday to the Barker Village Board in a five-way race for just two seats, while Democrat Bernard "Bernie" Leiker held off Republican Keith Douglas by just 10 votes to take the sole trustee spot in Wilson.

Charles Fuller was re-elected to his fourth term on the Barker board with 59 votes, while Planning Board Chairman Herbert Meyer clinched the second seat with 43 votes.

They defeated Aaron Nellist, who earned 38 votes; Scott Matheis, with 33 votes; and Anthony "Corky" Schultz, 20 votes. Schultz had been appointed by Mayor Jo Ann Greenwald in October to fill the unexpired term of Trustee John Hayden, who died in September.

Top vote-getter Fuller, 67, is a Delphi retiree who represented the Citizens Party.

Meyer, 75, retired as a master sergeant after 37 years in the Air Force and Air National Reserve. He has served on the village Planning Board for 17 years. He was defeated in a three-way bid for mayor last year and represented the Better Barker Party.

Barker Clerk Kathie Smith said 104 voters turned out to cast ballots Tuesday, considered "an average turnout" in this village of 577 residents. The seats carry two-year terms.

In Wilson, where the November closing of Pfeiffer Foods still looms large as the village and town look ahead in creating their first master plan this year, voters chose Leiker with 142 votes over Douglas with 132 votes in what Mayor Patrick Kelahan called "a great, great turnout of voters."

Kelahan noted the turnout was "about five times the regular turnout for a trustee race here in the village," Kelahan said. "It was a tight race."

Leiker, 61, moved to Wilson three years ago from Williamsville, where he retired as an English teacher and administrator.

Douglas, 43, is a soft-drink sales representative who moved into the village as a youngster and later lived in Newfane, returning to the village 12 years ago.

The seat carries a four-year term. There was no competition in Middleport, where longtime incumbents Thomas Conley and Richard Westcott were unopposed in seeking two-year terms.

Westcott, 60, a Delphi retiree, garnered 36 votes to begin his second term. He also served as a trustee from 1990 to 1996. Conley, a 44-year-old employee of the Department of Homeland Security, earned 35 votes to secure his sixth term.

e-mail: niagaranews@buffnews.com

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