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Dobson, Miller-Williams, Burke winners in close primaries

Several Democratic cliffhangers that were in doubt after last week’s primary elections now appear to be settled, according to the Erie County Board of Elections.

Sheriff candidate Richard E. Dobson has defeated Bert D. Dunn; Barbara Miller-Williams has beaten Timothy R. Hogues in the County Legislature’s District 1; and Patrick B. Burke has prevailed over Lynn M. Dearmyer and Richard A. Zydel in District 7, according to Republican Elections Commissioner Ralph M. Mohr.

The closest election involved Miller-Williams (a former chairwoman of the Legislature) against incumbent Hogues, who had the backing of party leaders. Miller-Williams held a 20-vote lead on primary night and increased that margin through the count of absentee, affidavit and other outstanding ballots, Mohr said.

“I don’t believe it is mathematically possible for Hogues to overcome her lead,” he said.

He also said that while Dunn had picked up about 90 votes in the new canvass, that was not nearly enough to erase the lead of more than 700 votes Dobson posted Sept. 10.

Mohr said Burke has also substantially increased his lead over his two opponents in District 7 as a result of the vote canvass.

“It’s now basically a matter of final numbers,” he said, “and I think the candidates recognize it’s pretty well decided.”