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Barker will see rematch in March mayoral race

It’s official – the petitions are in and there will be a two-way mayoral race in the Village of Barker again this spring. It will be the only contested election for a top job in a Niagara County village.

Elections will be held March 18.

It is a rematch in Barker – with a twist.

Incumbent Mayor Aaron Nellist will face opposition from former Mayor Herbert “Herb” Meyer.

Two years ago, it was Nellist who tried to replace Meyer as mayor, which he succeeded in doing by 26 votes. Both men have served one term as mayor in the village of less than 600 residents.

Nellist works for the New York State Canal Corp., while Meyer is a retired master sergeant with the U.S. Air Force.

Two candidates will be uncontested in their bid for two seats on the Barker Village Board.

They are incumbent Gregory Kerth, who is completing his first two-year term, and Scott Matheis, who was elected to the board in 2012 and stepped down in February of last year due to a conflict when he was named chief of the Barker Fire Department.

The recent redistricting of the fire company, bringing it under the auspices of the Town of Somerset, has allowed Matheis to serve, once again, in a village office.

Mark Wilson, who is finishing his first term as a Barker trustee, decided not to seek re-election.

The only other village elections in the county next month will be in Middleport and they are uncontested races for mayor and trustee.

Middleport Mayor Richard Westcott will seek his third term in office. Westcott first served as a trustee from 1990 to 1996, before taking a break from politics.

He rejoined the board in 2008 as a trustee, and served as deputy mayor before taking the reins in 2011 from retiring Mayor Julia “Julie” Maedl. The office of mayor carries a two-year term.

The two incumbents seeking re-election to their trustee seats in uncontested races are Wayne Blumrick and Rebecca Hinkson, who are finishing their second terms in office.

There will be no other village elections in Niagara County this year. Lewiston, Youngstown and Wilson will hold elections in 2016.