John G. Accardo is declaring victory in the Republican primary for mayor of Niagara Falls, though Bob D. Pascoal is only 46 votes behind with at least 79 absentee ballots to count.
Accardo pulled in 428 votes, while Pascoal got 382, according to unofficial results from the Niagara County Board of Elections. The third candidate in the race, Jim J. Szwedo, took in 332 votes.
Accardo said Friday he believes Pascoal will not be able to make up the difference when absentee ballots are counted.
Pascoal said he is not conceding the race to Accardo and wants to wait until absentee ballots are counted.
“I just want to make sure, that’s all,” Pascoal said by phone Friday morning.
In total, the Board of Elections sent out 127 absentee ballots to Republicans in the Falls primary.
Aside from absentee ballots, 1,151 votes were cast in the three-way GOP primary, including 9 write-ins. That means turnout was about 24 percent.
Accardo said the turnout figure is about average for a GOP primary in “off years.”
Accardo said he expects he will face incumbent Mayor Paul A. Dyster in the Nov. 3 general election. Dyster has a 73-vote lead on Councilman Glenn A. Choolokian, without counting absentee ballots.
The deadline to have an absentee ballot postmarked was Thursday. Board of Elections officials are expected to count absentee ballots next Friday.