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Lucey wins by 21 votes over Kaminski in Amherst highway superintendent race

A winner was declared Monday in the tight race for Amherst highway superintendent.

After the final absentee ballots were counted, longtime Amherst Police Lt. Patrick J. Lucey Jr., a Republican, defeated Democrat Kathy R. Kaminski by just 21 votes, with a final tally of 10,968 to 10,947, according to Republican Erie County Board of Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr.

Kaminski, a former crew chief for the Town of Amherst, who ran unsuccessfully for the job in 2007 and 2011, received a $175,000 settlement in a lawsuit she filed against the town and her former boss, then Highway Superintendent Robert N. Anderson. As part of that settlement, Kaminiski agreed to never again seek employment with the town, an issued that was raised during the run up to the general election.

Lucey and Kaminiski wound up in a statistical tie on the night of the election, which saw him 83 votes ahead of Kaminski. As absentee ballots came in over the ensuing weeks, Lucey’s lead began to dwindle.

Lucey, a 29-year veteran of the Amherst Police Department, said he plans to retire in December before taking over the duties as highway superintendent on Jan. 1.

The job pays nearly $97,000 a year, which includes a base pay of $73,920; a $2,500 stipend for handling signs, signals and drainage; $7,500 to run the parks; and a $13,073 stipend for being in charge of refuse control.