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Election voter guide: Town of Tonawanda

Town of Tonawanda

Town Board (elect 3)

John A. Bargnesi Jr. (i) D, C, WF

Lisa M. Chimera (i) D, WF, I

Joe Emminger (i) D, C, WF

Ann Morelli R, I

Michael R. Vishion R

Gigi E. Grizanti R, C, I

What to know: The six-way race for three seats on the Town Board was a relatively quiet affair, until early October when the union representing town police officers stepped in with endorsements of the three Republican challengers. The Town of Tonawanda Police Club’s nods went to Gigi E. Grizanti, Ann Morelli and Michael R. Vishion, who comes from a law enforcement family. Incumbent Democrats Lisa M. Chimera, John A. Bargnesi Jr. and Joe Emminger are seeking their third four-year terms on the all-Democratic board. The union maintains its endorsements were made over public safety concerns. But the incumbents claim the real motive is the union’s unhappiness with its contract and health insurance. Voters have denied two of the Republican challengers in recent years. Grizanti was unsuccessful in 2009 while Vishion came up short in 2011 against Councilman Daniel J. Crangle.

Town Superintendent of Highways

William E. Swanson (i) D, C, WF

Russell Riggio Jr. R, I

What to know: Incumbent Highway Superintendent William E. Swanson seeks his first full term for the job he was first appointed to in March 2011. Swanson went on later that year to win a special election to fill the two years remaining on the term of Bradley Rowles, who retired from the town and accepted an identical job in North Tonawanda. Swanson ran unopposed in 2011 but this year faces a challenge from Russell Riggio Jr., who touts his experience as a blacksmith in the Erie County Highway Department. Swanson, meanwhile, points to achievements such as the 33 lane miles of road milled with the road milling machine the town purchased in 2012.