There will be a Democratic primary in the race for town supervisor in Cheektowaga.
Town Clerk Alice Magierski, who lost the party’s endorsement to Town Board Member Diane M. Benczkowski, said she plans to challenge Benczkowski in the primary.
“I feel it’s important that voters get a choice,” Magierski said.
Magierski said she does not believe that the vote by the committee is a true representation of “what the people want.” She lost in a weighted vote, 10,473 to 8,769.
Benczkowski said she expected that there would be a primary in the race. When she ran for the Town Board in 2013, she lost the Democratic endorsement, then won the primary and was one of the top vote-getters to win a seat on the board.
The race for supervisor may turn on which candidate voters believe has the best background for the job.
Magierski said she has the experience needed to run the town, having served as town clerk, councilwoman and treasurer for the Cheektowaga-Sloan School District.
“I have a track record of effective leadership that sets me apart from the opposition,” Magierski said.
Benczkowski said she has nearly 15 years of experience as a public servant, including 12 years as a member of the Depew School Board and nearly two years on the Town Board. She is an associate broker for M.J. Peterson Real Estate. She also has the Conservative Party endorsement.
Both candidates said the issue of vacant houses, “zombie properties” and foreclosures is an important one and needs to be addressed.
Benczkowski said her experience in real estate will help address the issue of vacant housing, as well as issues of high taxes that hurt young people trying to purchase homes in the town.
“We are one of the highest-taxed towns in Western New York, which hurts young people trying to purchase a home,” Benczkowski said.
Magierski said that the population in the town is going down and that she wants to work with school districts to help push family issues such as education and affordable housing.
She also wants to improve economic development and find a way to improve sewers to improve water quality at Scajaquada Creek.