LOCKPORT – Roger L. Sherrie easily won the Democratic primary for mayor of Lockport Thursday, defeating Michael J. Pillot for the right to go up against Republican Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey in the Nov. 3 general election.
However, few voters were interested enough to show up for the election, as the turnout was about 14 percent of the city’s 4,474 registered Democrats.
Complete but unofficial returns showed Sherrie the winner, 424 to 162.
Democrats turned to Sherrie, who hasn’t run for office since a failed bid for alderman at large 34 years ago, after trying Pillot in 2007 and 2011, when he lost to then-Mayor Michael W. Tucker. Sherrie, the recently retired regional director of the Civil Service Employees Association, served 16 years in that post and worked a total of 28 years for the CSEA.
He said his experience in collective bargaining could help heal the city’s raucous labor relations, as city unions have frequently ended up in court or state mediation rooms against the city in recent years.
Sherrie may have lost the Working Families Party line on a write-in, as he polled seven votes, but eight write-ins were cast. If they were all for the same person, Sherrie is off the minor line.
McCaffrey survived write-in challenges to her status as the nominee of the Conservative and Independence parties, so she will have three lines in November.
McCaffrey is running for her first full four-year term after succeeding Tucker when the latter resigned in February 2014.
Elsewhere in the City of Lockport, 3rd Ward Alderwoman Kathryn J. “Kitty” Fogle went down to a crushing defeat at the hands of retired firefighter Mark S. Devine in a GOP primary, 123 to 35. Fogle, who also lost the Conservative line on a write-in, was the only Common Council incumbent to face a primary. The Democrats are running 22-year-old Zachary F. Parker in November.
In the 1st Ward, Joseph P. Oates, an insurance adjuster making his first run for public office, was the Republican choice, polling 99 votes to 28 for Shirley A. Nicholas, the 2011 GOP candidate, and 21 for Jennifer O. D’Andrea-Terreri, a veterans’ advocate and another first-time candidate. Former Alderman Edward W. Tracy, the city Democratic chairman, is running for the 1st Ward seat in November.
In the 4th Ward, David R. Wohleben, a city Planning Board member and president of the DeSales Catholic School board of trustees, defeated Eloise M. Campfield, 94 to 33, for the GOP alderman nomination and a chance for a race against veteran Democratic Alderman Patrick W. Schrader in November.
Democratic 3rd District incumbent Mark J. Grozio of Niagara Falls defeated Robert F. Bilson, 796 to 490, but Bilson will be back in November as the GOP nominee.
In the 11th District, covering parts of the City and Town of Lockport and all of Pendleton, Legislator Anthony J. Nemi won a GOP primary over Russell J. Defranco, 337 to 223. However, DeFranco has the Democratic nod for Nov. 3. In the 12th District, including parts of the City and Town of Lockport, William J. Collins Sr., the GOP nominee, won a Conservative primary over David J. Mongielo, 32-16. Collins, son of former Legislator John Collins, also won an Independence Party primary 27-8 over William O. Nye, the Democratic nominee in the general election.
In the City of Lockport’s 13th District, incumbent Legislator W. Keith McNall won the GOP line over Robert K. Drury, 251 to 208, although Drury will be back in November as the Democratic nominee.
Elsewhere around the county:
• Hartland Town Justice Joanne L. Sullivan and Councilman Brian D. Gross, both Republicans, were the big winners over Democrat Lisa A. Trakas in the races for two Town Court seats. Sullivan won five lines: all but the Green Party, where no one showed up to vote. Gross won the Republican, Independence and Working Families lines, while Trakas won the Democratic and Conservative lines.
• Lewiston Republicans chose David S. “Steve” Broderick Jr. for supervisor. The son of the late county treasurer defeated Deputy Supervisor Mark J. Briglio, 485 to 186, but Briglio will have the Democratic line in November. Highway Superintendent Douglas A. Janese waxed Jeffrey V. Rose in a GOP primary for that post, 426 to 224.
• Town of Niagara Democrats, in a three-way primary for two Town Board spots, went with Samuel S. Gatto and Robert J. McDermott Jr. They defeated Richard A. Sirianni, but Sirianni has the GOP nod for November. The tally was Gatto 311, McDermott 217, Sirianni 207.
• In North Tonawanda’s 2nd Ward, GOP voters overwhelmingly chose incumbent Donna L. Braun for alderwoman over Lori A. Calamita, 144-13. Calamita is the Democrats’ choice for November.
• In Pendleton, Edward J. McDonald, former president of the county government’s blue-collar union, won the Democratic line for town justice, but Lt. Kevin D. Mack of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office was the Republican winner and also took all four minor-party lines, shutting out former assistant district attorney Susan B. Bjornholm, who is currently a law clerk for Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon.
McDonald ran away with the Democratic contest, polling 128 votes to 80 for Mack and 32 for Bjornholm. On the GOP side, it was Mack 260, McDonald 109, Bjornholm 56.
Pendleton Republicans also chose Todd T. Ostrowski and incumbent David A. Leible for two councilman seats over Michael J. Forster. Ostrowski had 297 votes, Leible 244 and Forster 168.
Wheatfield Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe turned back the challenge of Thomas J. Larson in a Republican primary, just as he did in 2013. Cliffe received 329 votes to 239 for Larson.
• In the GOP Wheatfield Town Board primary, incumbent Councilmen Larry L. Helwig and Gilbert G. Doucet repulsed a challenge from David T. Lee. Helwig polled 388 votes to 348 for Doucet and 256 for Lee. In the Democratic councilman primary, Shirley J. Joy and Robert W. Flammia were the winners over ex-Republican Thomas J. Stevenson. Joy garnered 236 votes and Flammia 185 to 130 for Stevenson.
• Wilson Conservatives chose challenger Marilyn L. Wilson as their first choice for the Town Board, with 17 votes. Incumbent Republican Thomas J. Thompson won the second spot with 13 votes and GOP incumbent James V. Muscoreil lost the minor line with 11 votes.