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Bove, up by 42 votes, not claiming victory in West Seneca primary

The incumbent supervisor in West Seneca is behind in the Democratic primary, and the incumbent in Clarence lost Thursday night, according to unofficial results from the Erie County Board of Elections.

With all districts reporting in West Seneca, Christina Wleklinski Bove ended the night 42 votes ahead of Supervisor Sheila Meegan in the Democratic primary.

But Bove was not claiming victory Friday.

“I’m 42 up, the absentees have not been counted. It’s not over yet,” she said. “You have to go right to the end, it has to be proven.”

It is not known how many absentee ballots have yet to be counted.

Meegan does have the Conservative, Working Families and Independence lines in the November election.

In Clarence, first-term incumbent Supervisor David C. Hartzell Jr. lost the Republican primary to Councilman Patrick Casilio, who had received the GOP endorsement in the spring, 74 percent to 26 percrent.

And in Cheektowaga, Councilwoman Diane Benczkowski beat Town Clerk Alice Magierski in the Democratic primary, effectively becoming the supervisor-elect. Magierski, who lost the Democratic endorsement to Benczkowski, was only running on one line, and there is no Republican supervisor candidate.

With 100 percent of districts counted, it was Benczkowski over Magierski, 54 percent to 46 percent. Benczkowski, a licensed broker associate with MJ Peterson who served 12 years on the Depew School Board, said she did not have a lot of money to spend on the race, so she started “hitting the doors and talking to the voters.”

She said she would canvas for votes in the evening, and when the next morning came, she would try to solve the voters’ complaints she heard the night before.

“I’ve been out all summer, I started in June. It was the consistency of knocking on the doors and personally asking for the voter’s votes,” Benczkowski said. She was unsuccessful running as a Republican for the Town Board in 2005, before getting elected in 2013.

Also in Cheektowaga, incumbent Council Member Christine L. Adamczyk won the Democratic primary for re-election with 20 percent of the vote, with incumbent Gerald P. Kaminski and newcomer Linda M. Hammer each polling 15 percent for the last two spots on the November ballot.

Highway Superintendent Mark D. Wegner beat Jerzy Galazka in the Democratic primary, 55-45 percent.

It was an uphill battle for Bove in West Seneca, one she relished. The former town councilwoman and Erie County legislator said many people urged her to seek the supervisor’s office. She ran because, she said, spending was out of control and taxes skyrocketed.

She noted that most voters do not come out to vote in primaries, and most Democrats wait until November.

“West Seneca had only one chance for change and I wanted to give my town that I care very much about that chance,” Bove said.

Meegan said she worked hard on voter turnout.

“We’re really reaching out to everyone in town to encourage them to come out and vote,” she said before the votes were counted.

But it may not have been enough, although absentee ballots still must be counted.

Highway Superintendent Matthew D. English won the Democratic primary, 59-41 percent over Tommy Reese. Incumbent Councilman Eugene Hart was winning the Democratic primary over Dave Monolopolus by 40 votes.

In Clarence, Casilio was hoping for a large voter turnout.

“I’m well-known in town, I think the more voters that come out the better chance I have,” Casilio said.

He said the endorsements of the town clerk and board members were persuasive to voters.

Hartzell, who said he knocked on 2,000 doors, said he had controlled spending during his tenure. But it was not enough for to convince Republican voters.

Incumbent Town Justice Robert G. Sillars won four of the five primaries over Justin D. Kloss. Sillars won the Republican, Democratic, Conservative and Independence primaries. Kloss was winning the Working Families line, capturing the one vote that had been cast, although two districts had not been counted.

In Hamburg, with 100 percent of districts reporting, Thomas Best Jr. beat incumbent Councilwoman Cheryl Potter-Juda by 47 votes, 51 percent to 49 percent.

In the race for town justice, Town Attorney Walter L. Rooth III, a former assistant district attorney now in private practice, and son of the current town justice, won the Democratic and Working Families primaries. Carl W. Morgan, a former Lackawanna city police lieutenant who has served as deputy town attorney, won the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties lines, and Frank Bogulski, who served in the Army military police and the National Guard, won the Green Party line with three votes. Blasdell Village Justice Daniel P. Grasso also ran.