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Election voter guide


Town Supervisor

Harry F. “Bud” Milligan (i) R, C, I

Town Board (elect 2)

Mary Riddoch (i) R, C, I

Ralph P. Witt R, C

What to know: Councilman William Weber passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 9, leaving the board with only two members until Jan. 1. Weber was running to retain his seat on the board unopposed at the time of his death. Alden Town Clerk Ralph Witt, who had been planning to retire from his position as Dec. 31, was asked to run in Weber’s place, and agreed to do so. He will begin his term on Jan. 1.

Town Clerk

Debra A. Crist D, R, C, I

Highway Superintendent

Gary D. Wagner D, R, C, I



Town Supervisor

Barry A. Weinstein (i) R, I

Mark A. Manna D, C, WF

What to know: Weinstein is the incumbent who touts his record for slashing spending and cutting taxes each of the last four years. Manna, a Democratic councilmember, has used the controversial Hyatt Place Hotel to make his case for smarter growth in Amherst.

Keep an eye on voter turnout. The Democrats have a 4,300 edge in voters, but holding the key to victory may be the 14,000 who are unaffiliated. The winner in this race helps set the pace for the rest of the ballot in Amherst.

Town Board (elect 2)

Patricia S. Dunne D, C, WF

Ramona D. Popowich D, C, WF

Steven D. Sanders (i) R, I

Howard Dunning Cadmus R, I

What to know: The supervisor’s race has taken center stage in Amherst, but this election has the potential to shift the balance of power on the Town Board, which is currently controlled by the Republicans. Two councilmember seats are up for grabs, and a third will be eliminated as part of a voter-approved effort to downsize the board to five seats.

Voters will have a variety of choices in the candidates seeking seats. They include a certified public accountant in Sanders; a former School Board president in Popowich; a real estate attorney in Cadmus; and a probation officer in Dunne.

Town Justice

Kara A. Buscaglia D, C, WF, I

Barbara S. Nuchereno R

What to know: Arguably the most spirited of the Amherst elections. The race pits Buscaglia, a former assistant Erie County district attorney who has her own practice in Williamsville, against Nuchereno, a former law clerk in Erie County Family Court whose term as councilmember on the Town Board is ending.



Town Supervisor

James Bach R, C

What to know: Board incumbent James Bach, deputy supervisor with four years service on the board and owner of Bach’s Towing, is running unopposed for the two-year supervisor now held by Supervisor Jolene Jeffe, who is running for a seat on the Board.

“I want to continue on the path of fiscal responsibility that this board has been doing,” he said. “I’d also like to see us get out of the water business, turning our water districts over to Erie County. We are in the process of doing that now.”

Town Board (elect 2)

Susan Friess R, C

Jolene Jeffe R, C

David Majka, I

Christopher Lane, I

What to know: Incumbents Susan Friess, trying for her second four-year term, and Jolene Jeffe, who served two supervisor terms, joined Bach in the primary campaign and won after a heated contest with criticisms about delays in bridge and culvert repair and complaints about the town’s failure save on interest and refinance water debt before rates went up. Challengers David Majka and Christopher Lane, who were endorsed by the Republican Committee, suspended their campaigns.

Town Clerk

Martha Librock (i) R

Colleen Siener D, WF

What to know: Incumbent Town Clerk Martha Librock, who served 15 years, is running for a four-year term. She won the Republican primary and was endorsed by the Republican Committee. Colleen Siener, also a registered Republican lost her primary bid, but has continued her campaign as the Democrat and Working Family candidate.

Both women advocated putting more information and services, including a tax payment system, online. Siener, who has a degree in paralegal studies, wants to offer weekend and evening hours and update the office, putting permits and license applications online. “I really want to focus on friendly customer service,” Siener said.

Librock, who spent most of her career with the town, says she will use grant money to move more town records to town offices at Southside Municipal Center. “The retrieval of the records will be much, much easier,” she said. “I love helping people.”



Town Supervisor

Martin A. Ballowe (i) R, I, C, WF

Gary E. Vara D

What to know: Battles between the town board and local fire departments have marked the Democratic slate, led by Supervisor candidate Gary E. Vara, who is taking on the Republican team, led by Supervisor Martin A. Ballowe. The incumbent supervisor is seeking his second term, citing his decreases in the town’s tax rate each year of his first term.

Town Board (elect 2)

Jay P. Boardway (i) R, WF, I

Jeffrey A. Genzel (i) R, C, WF, I

JoAnne M. Bonsack D

Heidi M. Higgins D, C

What to know: Incumbents Jay P. Boardway and Jeffrey A. Genzel look to continue as a team with Ballowe for a second term. Heidi M. Higgins and JoAnne M. Bonsack would like to join Vara as the town’s new Democratic-led team, with the hopes of gaining majority control and having a greater say in town issues. Boardway and Genzel hope to continue a pattern of saving taxpayers money by reducing tax rates and cutting costs in town departments.

Town Justice

Debra K. Bender D, R, C, WF, I



Town Supervisor

Leonard K. Pero (i) R, C, I, TP

Donald L. Clark D, WF

What to know: Incumbent Supervisor Leonard K. Pero is looking to stave off a challenge from Donald L. Clark. Pero and Clark have both cited having an open government as a major reason why they are seeking the town’s top post. Clark would like to see more participation from residents at town board meetings.

Town Board (elect 2)

Jeffrey W. Gier (i) R, C, I

Paulette R. Renaldo D, WF

Daniel B. Kujawinski D, WF

Mark J. DeCarlo R, C, I

Terry L. Caber TP

What to know: Five candidates will be seeking two seats on the board. Jeffrey W. Gier is the only incumbent seeking reelection as a councilman, meaning there will be at least one new member of the board beginning Jan. 1.

Town Justice

Debra A. Ritz D, WF, I, G

Clark H.Borngraber R, C

What to know: Incumbent Debra A. Ritz looks to retain her seat as Brant Town Justice in a race with current Councilman Clark H. Borngraber, with a four-year term on the line.



City Court Judge (elect 2)

Debra L. Givens (i) D, R, C, WF, I

Kevin J. Keane (i) D, R, C, WF, I

What to know: The two judges would serve 10-year terms.


Byron W. Brown D, C, WF, I

Sergio R. Rodriguez R, PR

What to know: Byron W. Brown is seeking a third four-year term, and has run on a platform of “progress,” anchored by development downtown and on the medical campus, while Sergio R. Rodriguez, who has never held elected office but has run an energetic campaign, has said he would seek control of city schools and would increase the number of foot patrols by police officers.

Brown is heavily favored to win, and has spent $1.21 million, while Rodriguez has spent $20,991.



Town Board (elect 3)

Diane Benczkowski, D

Nicole Gawel, R, I

Stanley J. Kaznowski III (i) C, WF

Rick Maisano, R, C, WF, I

Roger McGill Jr., R, I

Tim Meyers, D

Jim Rogowski (i) D, C, WF

What to know: The third seat up for election was formerly occupied by Patricia Jaworowicz, the first woman elected to the board more than 30 years ago, who stepped down in February because of ill health.

Outside of the incumbents, some names on the ballot may be familiar to voters because of their other public roles or previous bids for office.

• Benczkowski was a Depew School Board member for 12 years. She was in the Democratic primary for town clerk in 2007 and ran unsuccessfully, as a Republican, for Town Board in 2005.

• Maisano, who was an unsuccessful candidate for Town Board in 2007, is also known for his leadership role in the Dick Urban Community Association.

• McGill unsuccessfully ran for Town Board in 2011, but previously was elected to the Bellevue and U-Crest Fire Districts boards of commissioners in the 1990s.

• Meyers is the son of former Town Supervisor Frank Meyers. In 2007, the younger Meyers was suggested as a candidate to fill a Town Board vacancy to which Kaznowski ultimately was appointed.

• Gawel is a former reporter for Metro Community News, now known as Metro Source.

She currently works as a development assistant of Friends of Night People. She is a first-time candidate who is “tired of the same families and faces running Cheektowaga and not making it a better place.”



Town Board (elect 2)

Tracy L. Francisco D

Peter T. DiCostanzo (i) R, C, I

Patrick W. Casilio (i) R, C, I

What to know: Democrat Francisco faces a big challenge running in this GOP town against two veteran councilman seeking reelection. DiCostanzo, a certified public accountant, has been on the board since Jan. 2008. Casilio, chief executive officer of Casilio Cos., a real estate and construction company, has been a councilman since 2006.

Highway Superintendent

James A. Dussing R

What to know: Dussing, a longtime employee in the town’s Highway Department, was backed by town Republicans, after the death of Highway Superintendent Theodore Donner in August.



Town Supervisor

James P. DePasquale, D, R, I

Annie M. Hoffman (i) C, CI

What to know: Hoffman is seeking a second, four-year term as town supervisor, having previously served as a councilwoman since 2000. But she’s running on minor party lines, having lost to challenger – and fellow Republican – DePasquale in September’s GOP primary.

Town Board (elect 2)

David J. Arcara (i) R, C, I)

Ronald R. Fraser D, I

Jesse M. Hrycik R, C

Patrick C. Murphy (i) D, CI

Jennifer L. Okal CI

Highway Superintendent

Paul J. Clarkson (i) D, R, C, I

John J. Peplin Jr. CI



Town Supervisor

David F. Tessmer (i) R, C, I

Town Board (elect 2)

Mary A. Clark (i) R, C, I

Janet L. Vogtli, R, C, I

Town Clerk

Dawn M. Spires D, C

Becky Jo Summers (i) R

What to know: Incumbent Town Clerk Becky Jo Summers is being challenged by Dawn Spires, a paralegal. No pressing issues were brought forth, but the opposition said it is time for new ideas by new people.

Town Justice

Norman J. Peters (i) D, R, WF

Brian D. Gernatt C, I

What to know: Brian Gernatt is challenging incumbent Town Justice Norman Peters, with the issue centering around the incumbent’s availability to arraign suspects.

Highway Superintendent

Dennis M. Jensen (i) R, C, I



Town Supervisor

Gary Eppolito (i) R, C, I

Town Board (elect 2)

James Krezmien (i) R, C, I

Clyde Drake R, C, I

What to know: Drake is running for the seat of William Snyder who is not seeking re-election.

Town Clerk

Darlene Schweikert (i) R, C, I

Highway Superintendent

Dennis Dains (i) R, C, I

Town Assessor

Dan Martin R, C, I

What to know: Martin was appointed to the town assessor post in September to fill the unexpired term of William Nellis who retired.

Local Proposition: Increase the maximum number of eligible years in the Length of Service Awards Program for volunteer firefighters from 20 to 30 years at no additional cost, effective Jan. 1, 2014. (Town of Concord residents only)



Town Board (elect 2)

Mary Lou Pew (i) D, C, WF

Richard S. Ventry (i) R, C

Alfredo Carias Jr. D

What to know: Mary Lou Pew and Richard S. Ventry, who have served a combined six terms on the Eden Town Board, look to continue for another four years. The incumbents aim to streamline Eden town government in different ways, including updates to the website to make it more interactive and informative, and discussing keeping town hall open late one day a week. Challenger Alfredo Carias Jr. believes it is a good idea to add new ideas to the board and said if elected, one of the first issues he would review is water districts and its financial impact on taxpayers.

Town Justice

Michael G. Cooper D, R, C, I


Robert W. Pietrocarlo D, C, WF



Town Supervisor

Dennis M. Powers (i) R, I, C

John Schmelzer D

What to know: Dennis Powers, a graduate of the University of Buffalo with an accounting and finance degree is seeking his second full two-year term as Supervisor. Powers released a 2014 budget this month that has no town tax, and reduced or flat taxes in all districts except the Fire Protection District. The town has no debt and a fund balance of $1.9 million. Powers previously served as a councilman for two full terms and was chosen to fill out the rest of Supervisor Michael Nolan’s term when he resigned.

Democrat John Schmelzer, a retired NY Central Railroad engineer and a current assistant chief of the Elma Fire Co., is making his second run against Powers. Schmelzer is also treasurer of the Elma Fire Company Benevolent Association. He is against what he calls “the friends and family deal” at the town hall for jobs. He believes in giving everyone a chance at a job, especially for summer jobs for kids. He is also against part-time health care for part-time employees.

Town Board (elect 2)

Tracy W. Petrocy (i) R, C, I

Thomas M. Fallon (i) C, R, I

Yvon Boulet D

What to know: Council members Tracy W. Petrocy, a local jewelry store owner, and Thomas M. Fallon, a businessman with Derrick Co., are running for their second four-year terms and are being challenged by newcomer to politics, Democrat Yvon (Ivan) Boulet, Canisius College student studying political Science and Criminal Justice. He is presently employed by Dial America Inc. selling home insurance and credit card protection.

Highway Superintendent

Wayne A. Clark (i) R, C, I



Town Board

Dennis Feldman (i) D, C

Jeanne Spoth Macko R, I

What to know: With a three-member board, the results in the Town Board race will decide the majority of the board. Currently the board is made up of two Democratic council members and a Republican supervisor. Excessive spending and lack of business growth was raised as a concern by both parties.

Highway Superintendent

Dominic M. Calandra D

Edward J. Michalski (i) R, C, I

What to know: In the highway superintendent race, the democrats backed a new candidate, Dominic Calandra instead of incumbent Edward Michalski, claiming that after 24 years, it is time to bring new ideas to the department. The republicans said Michalski has done an excellent job with the department and continues to streamline the process.

Town Clerk

Lynn M. Krajacic D, R, C, I, WF

Town Justice

Timothy J. Cooper (i) D, R, C


Grand Island

Town Board (elect 2)

Beverly A. Kinney D, I

Delilah A. D’Orazio D

Raymond A. Billica (i) R, C

Christopher K. Aronica (i) R, C, I

What to know: All four candidates say it’s a top priority to attract new businesses to Grand Island in order to broaden its tax base. D’Orazio and Kinney have each served on the Chamber of Commerce board for more than a decade and said they would work closely with small businesses to make them feel welcome. If re-elected, Billica said he would continue reaching out to businesses one by one, selling them on what Grand Island has to offer and Aronica said he would continue making personal introductions among businesses and the town’s Economic Development Board.

Town Justice

Mark J. Frentzel (i) D, R, C, I

Superintendent of Highways

William M. Stanley D, WF, I

James B. Tomkins (i) R, C

What to know: Both candidates said they would maintain a “black roads policy” in the winter, but differ as to how they would achieve it. During his tenure, Tomkins said he did away with “unnecessary overtime” and put an end to 24-hour on-the-clock shifts, limiting shifts to no more than 16 hours and allowing 8 hours for rest. Stanley said he would let snowfall dictate staffing.



Town Supervisor

Steven J. Walters Sr.(i) R, C, I

Walter Rooth III D, WF

What to know: The demeanor of the Town Board, which has been discordant, has emerged as the Democrats’ major campaign issue. Walters is betting that his record of reducing spending over his eight years in office will resonate with voters, while Rooth says he can restore order and calm to the board.

Town Board (four-year term)

Amy Carroll Ziegler (i) R, C, I

Michael P. Quinn Jr. D, WF

What to know: Ziegler, a confidential law clerk to State Supreme Court Justice Frederick J. Marshall, has served on the board for four years during some of its stormiest times. Quinn, an attorney and former infantry paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, took Ironworkers apprenticeship training before graduating from law school six years ago.

Town Board (two-year term)

Cheryl Potter-Juda D, WF

Lawrence J. Speiser R, C, I

What to know: Potter-Juda, a teacher for Lackawanna City Schools, said her 30 years in education have given her the people skills to return civility to the Town Board. Speiser, president and CEO of FlashFlo Manufacturing, said he understands, as a small business owner, how to keep spending and costs down and budgets under control.

Town Justice

Gerald P. Gorman (i) D, C, WF

Highway Superintendent

Tom Best Sr. (i) R, C, I

Ted Casey D

What to know: Best is well-known after working in the Police Department more than 30 years and serving on the Town Board before becoming highway superintendent. Casey, the health, safety & environmental manager at Dresser-Rand, said he would seek feedback from residents on services provided.



What to know: Seven races will be on the ballot in the Town of Holland this November. Incumbents running unopposed are poised to return in 2014 to the positions of supervisor, town justice, tax collector, highway superintendent and two trustee positions. The town clerk post is the exception. Sandy Smith is retiring after two decades in the position. Merilu O’Dell, running on the Republican line, is the lone candidate for the position after defeating Robert Ersing in the primary elections.

Town Supervisor

Michael C. Kasprzyk (i) R

Town Board (elect 2)

Geoffrey W. Hack (i) C

Roberta A. Herr (i) R

Town Clerk

Merilu O’Dell R

Highway Superintendent

Patrick Joyce (i) R

Town Justice

William J. Franczak (i) R

Tax Collector

June E. McArthur (i) R



Trustee (elect 2)

Paul P. Catalano (i) D, WF, I

Kathleen E. Burd D, WF, I

What to know: The retirement of Sam Muscarella, the lone Republican on the Village Board, ensures the board’s five seats will be all Democratic come January. The Ken-Ton Republican Committee was unable to find any opponents for incumbent Paul P. Catalano and newcomer Kathleen E. Burd.

Village Justice

Scott F. Riordan (i) D, WF, I

What to know: Scott F. Riordan, a former prosecutor in the district attorney’s office, runs unopposed for another term for village justice.



1st Ward Council seat

Abdulsalam K. Noman (i) D, C, WF

John E. Ingram PP

Andrea Z. Haxton SU

What to know: Noman, the first Yemeni-American to hold a Lackawanna Council seat, faces off against two residents who attend Council meetings as regularly as the elected members. Haxton, who was the first woman to serve on the Council from 2006 to 2009, lost the seat to Noman. Since then, she and Ingram have been two of the most vocal advocates for more open government in Lackawanna. They are running on their own minor party lines – in Haxton’s case the Sunshine Party and in Ingram’s, the people’s Party. Ingram is making his first run for elective office. Noman, a longtime Lackawanna city schools employee and coach of the high school soccer team, handily won the Democratic primary in this heavily Democratic city.

2nd Ward Council seat

Annette Iafallo (i) D, WF

Louis S. Croce R, C, I

What to know: Political newcomer Croce, an independent insurance broker, is attempting to become the first Republican to serve on the Council in more than a decade in taking on Iafallo, a veteran of Lackawanna politics with deep connections in the Democratic party. Croce has campaigned on a platform of ending political favoritism in City Hall and ridding the city of drug activity and blighted housing. Iafallo served on the School Board from 2001 to 2007, including a stint as the board’s president, and was appointed in 2008 as school district clerk. She lost that appointment this past May, when a turnover of the school board led to her ouster. Iafallo won last November’s special election to fill the 2nd Ward seat vacated when Mayor Geoffrey M. Szymanski, the former councilman, took his new office in January 2012. Croce’s campaign got a boost in the primary, when his write-in effort led to a surprising victory over Iafallo, the only listed candidate on the Conservative Party line.

3rd Ward Council seat

Joseph L. Jerge D, C

What to know: Jerge, co-owner of the popular Mulberry Ristorante in the city’s Bethlehem Park neighborhood, was appointed in 2012 to complete the term of Councilman Francis J. Kulczyk, who died in July of that year. Jerge is running unopposed on the Democratic and Conservative lines, although former City Council secretary Marlene Kita, a member of the Lackawanna Democratic party committee, launched a write-in campaign in October.



Town Board (elect 2)

(I) John M. Abraham Jr. D, C, I, WF

(I) Ronald Ruffino Sr. D, C, I, WF

Patrick F. Sportelli R

Robert E. Leary R

What to know: The Lancaster Republicans are in an uphill climb to grab majority control of the Democratic Town Board in the council race. Political newcomers Patrick F. Sportelli and Robert E. Leary are looking to unseat well-entrenched incumbents Ronald Ruffino Sr., a 12-year veteran on the board, and John M. Abraham Jr., seeking his second full term. Managing continued growth in the town, providing adequate services without jumping taxes, infrastructure improvements and government transparency top the issues in this race.

Town Justice

Mark S. Aquino D, C, I, WF

Anthony J. Cervi R, C

What to know: Two well-known attorneys are vying for the four-year seat being vacated by retiring Town Justice J. Michael Kelleher, a Democrat first elected to the bench in 1975. Aquino, a Lancaster town councilman and Depew village attorney, firmly believes he would bring the most legal experience to the courtroom; while Cervi strongly touts his legal experience and has said his focus is the practice of law.

Highway Superintendent

Daniel J. Amatura (i) D, C, I, WF

Joseph M. Brainard R, I

What to know: Incumbent Dan Amatura is viewed by many political insiders as doing a formidable job in the position. He has addressed upgrading the town’s infrastructure and maintaining accessibility to residents. Opponent Joe Brainard, president of Braico Enterprises, touts his experience with union and nonunion environments as a plus and thinks he can lower the highway budget. Buffalo developer Carl Paladino is reaching into the race, with his support of Brainard.



Town Supervisor

Leon E. Berner C, D

Earl A. Gingerich Jr. R, I

What to know: A concern regarding a permit for sludge storage on a Marilla farm still to be decided by the Department of Environmental Conservation has rallied residents fearful of impact on ground water. Although both candidates are farmers and are against the storage, they differ on zoning issues regarding businesses and housing. Current Supervisor George Gertz lost the Conservative line to Berner and the Republican line to Gingerich in the primary.

Town Board (elect 2)

Donald E. Darrow (i) R, I

Deborah J. Beats R, I

Leonard J. Blizniak Jr. C

Julie L. Lathrop D, C

Gary M. Gorski D



Town Board (elect 2)

James Mayrose (i) R, C, I, WF

Richard C. Baran (i) D, C

Marybeth Whiting R, I

Erik Polkowski D, WF

What to know: With the possible expansion of Akron Airport and the concerts at Braun’s Concert Cove leaving some residents up-in-arms, the board has its work cut out for them. Incumbents Baran and Mayrose say they are delicate issues the board is working on. Both cite the town’s solvency as an accomplishment. Challengers Whiting and Polkowski look to bring fresh perspectives to the board.

Town Justice

Dennis Freeman (i) R, C, I

Cheryl Esposito D, WF

What to know: Incumbent Dennis Freeman has served as the Town Justice for over 20 years. Esposito has an interest in criminal justice and believes she can deal with the changing landscape of crime in Newstead.

Town Clerk

Dawn Izydorczak (i) R, C, I

Highway Superintendent

Michael Bassanello (i) D, WF

John D. Jendrowski R, C, I

What to know: Incumbent Highway Supervisor Michael Bassanello has been at the job for the last eight years. Challenger Jendrowski believes the town could be doing more to save tax payers money by cutting down on waste at the highway department.


North Collins

Town Board (elect 2)

Jeffrey T. Krauss (i) D

Jenaro G. Rios D

John M. Tobia R, C

Karen A. Ricotta R

Town Board (to fill vacancy for two years)

Ellen M. Mathis D, C

Town Justice

Ward W. Weiser D, C

What to know: With the resignation of Marian Vanni (R) this summer and George LoBianco, (D) deciding not to seek another term, Jeffrey Krauss is the only incumbent seeking re-election. That means at least two new people will take office in January, with Ellen Mathis running unopposed to fill Vanni’s term. Issues discussed by candidates included updating the master plan, curtailing spending and encouraging business growth. The board had been three Republicans to two Democrats, so the majority could change, depending on the results.


Orchard Park

Town Supervisor

Janis Colarusso (i), D, WF

Patrick J. Keem R, C, I

What to know: These two candidates faced off four years ago, and Colarusso came out on top. Keem, a retired dentist, sought a rematch, and is waging a vigorous campaign to unseat the one-term incumbent and former town clerk. Keem is winning in the money race, putting $43,000 of his own money into his campaign to bring the total raised to $58,000. Colarusso has raised $20,000, and hopes her record for the last four years will earn her support for another term.

Town Board (elect 1) four-year term

Eugene L. Majchrzak (i) R, C

Lynmarie Tighe Phillips D, WF, I

What to know: Majchrzak, a sales engineer for Uponor Infra, is a one-term incumbent who served on the Planning Board and Phillips is manager of health information services at the McGuire Group. Both have been campaigning door-to-door and attending community events to spread their message.

Town Board (elect 1) two-year term

Michael J. Sherry D, R, C, I

What to know: Sherry is a former assistant police chief and current exeuctive director of Christ the King Seminary. The term he is running for was shortened for this cycle because of the downsizing of the Town Board two years ago. The two-year term allows for the staggering of terms of board members, unlike this year, when it is possible that three newcomers could be elected to the board. The seat will return to a four-year term in 2016.

Town Justice

Edward A. Pace (i) D, R, C, WF, I

Highway Superintendent

Frederick J. Piasecki Jr. (i) R, C, I



Town Supervisor

Daniel L. Miller R

Beverly A. Gambino C, I

What to know: The Town of Sardinia will elect a new supervisor with current Councilman Daniel L. Miller facing a challenge from Beverly A. Gambino, the town’s bookkeeper. An issue that has been controversial in the town is a decision by the town board to create a mining overlay district in about one-quarter of the town. The result is that no new mining is allowed in the mining overlay district.

Town Board (elect 2)

Cheryl L. Earl (i) C, I

Dale E. Heidiger D, R

Carla L. Fuller R

Leonard R. Hochadel C, I

What to know: There will be at least one new member of the town board, with incumbent Cheryl L. Earl seeking to regain her council seat, with a total of four candidates, including former Sardinia Town Supervisor Leonard R. Hochadel, in the mix. Dale E. Heidiger and Carla L. Fuller are also seeking to win seats on the board. Among the issues new board members will have to face is a decision on how to disperse $2 million in surplus funds back to residents.

Town Clerk

Betsy A. Marsh (i) R, C, I

Town Justice

Gene R. Heintz D, R, C, I

Town Superintendent of Highways

Donald W. Hopkins (i) R, C, I


City of Tonawanda


Ron Pilozzi (i) R, C, I

Rick Davis D, WF

What to know: The race for mayor of Tonawanda is a rematch of 2009 between incumbent Ron Pilozzi and former 4th Ward Councilman Rick Davis. Pilozzi eked out a victory over Davis with 1,858 votes on the Republican, Independence and Conservative Party lines to Davis’ 1,705 votes on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines. Pilozzi, 66, a four-term 3rd Ward councilman and U.S. Army Vietnam veteran, is seeking his third 4-year term as mayor. Davis, 40, a Federal Aviation Administration meteorologist and U.S. Air Force veteran, said he opposes a tentative contract Pilozzi negotiated with Natale Builders to build 56 homes in Veterans Park and would eliminate the homes’ 35 percent property tax break. Pilozzi, in a statement to The Buffalo News, questioned how Davis could oppose the project “even though the reduced assessments will be twice the assessment of the average home in Tonawanda.”

Council — 1st Ward

Paul P. Brunner D

Charles M. Gilbert R, C, WF, I

What to know: The race for the open seat vacated in September by Heather Little features Charles M. Gilbert, an electrician who served one term on the council from 2009-2011, taking on political newcomer Paul Brunner, who has experience in community development and planning as executive director of a small housing services non-profit.

Council — 2nd Ward

Jackie A. Smilinich D, C, WF

Jonathan R. Juliano R, I

What to know: The 2nd Ward seat was guaranteed to change hands after Jackie A. Smilinich defeated incumbent Blake R. Boyle in a September Democratic primary. The retired postmaster and former president of the Tonawanda School Board takes on Republican Jonathan R. Juliano.

Council — 3rd Ward

Richard A. Slisz (i) D, C, WF

John J. Hall R, I

What to know: Incumbent Richard A. Slisz narrowly won reelection two years ago against challenger Augustine R. Beyer by two votes. The election was decided in Feb. 2012 only after it was sent to State Supreme Court and a hand recount was conducted. This time, Slisz, former chairman of the Erie County Legislature, faces political newcomer John “Jay” Hall, a retiree of the city’s Department of Public Works.

Council — 4th Ward

Jenna N. Koch D, C, WF, I

Brian M. Jopp R

What to know: Democrat Jenna N. Koch, director of human resources at a long-term care facility, competes with Brian M. Jopp, co-owner of a television production company for the 4th Ward seat currently held by Tyler Kossow, who is not seeking reelection.


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.



Town Supervisor

Rickey A. Venditti (i) R,C

Rickey A. Venditti, Republican, Conservative, running for his sixth 2 year term is unopposed.

Town Board (elect 2)

Jude A. Hartrich (i) R, C

Gerald E. Klinck (i) R, C

What to know: Councilman Gerald E. Klinck R is running for his third 4 year term. He is the deputy supervisor and headed the committee for code changes for small farms. Jude A. Hartrich R. C. is running for her second 4 year term. She is a member of the Wales Center Fire Co., favors a new walking path around the town park, and water rights protection.

Highway Superintendent

Michael Zywar (i) R

Dani Bond D, C, I


John Sly (i) R

Town Clerk

Melinda M. Eaton (i) R


West Seneca

Town Board

William P. Hanley Jr., D, WF

Jim Manley, R

What to know: There is no incumbent in this race. Councilman John M. Rusinski, after failing to receive the local Democratic Committee’s endorsement, lost the Democratic primary to Hanley and also the Working Families line, which was decided by a write-in vote.