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Rick Davis re-elected City of Tonawanda mayor

Mayor Rick Davis won re-election to a second term, by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin, defeating Republican Timothy Toth in a campaign that became increasingly heated in its final days.

Toth distributed flyers with disparaging claims about Davis and his ex-wife, which caused Davis to go on social media to write that Toth had "grossly distorted the facts"and he called Toth a "low life coward."

"I thought the campaign stunk. I thought it was dirty and nasty and I'm disappointed in both of them," voter Rachel Carson said of the mayor's race.

Francine Smeltzer, who said she voted for Davis, agreed, saying, "I wasn't very happy with the whole process, especially near the end, but it didn't change my vote."

In a small city of 15,000, everybody knows everyone else, said Scott Laing of Canton Street.

"When the mudslinging starts it's especially low," he said.

Toth, a retired City of Tonawanda cop, is finishing his first term as Fourth Ward Councilor.

Davis said he ran on his accomplishments, noting that the city has won more than $22 million in grants during his term, and that enabled officials to crack down on vacant zombie properties and establish a Main Street local development agency to compete for new grants.

In the Third Ward it is too close to call with eight votes separating Republican Michael R. Young, a retired city assistant fire chief from incumbent Democrat Sean Rautenstrauch. A total of 33 absentee votes will decide the race.

In the Second Ward, Democrat Dawn M. Kammerdeiner, a newcomer, received 62 percent and defeated Republican Blake R. Boyle, with 37 percent, who was seeking to return to the Council after having served from 2000-2006 and 2008-2010.

In the Fourth Ward, Democrat David Mileham, a former school teacher, defeated Republican Sharon R. Stuart, a former Tonawanda school board president, 53 percent to 47 percent.

Republican First Ward Councilman Charles M. Gilbert ran unopposed.

Town of Tonawanda 

With 76 percent of the votes counted, the three incumbent Democrats on the Town Board won re-election.

Lisa M. Chimera received 22 percent of the votes, William C. Conrad III, and John J. Bargnesi Jr., both had 21 percent to defeat Republican challengers Damon D. Piatek, 12 percent, Paul D. Christian, 11 percent, and Town GOP Chairman Charles Sankey, 10 percent. A campaign against the incumbents had been waged by the Hourly Employees Association of the Town of Tonawanda, which has been without a contract for the past six years.

Live results: The winners and losers of races throughout Erie County

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