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Democrat James Shaw elected Hamburg supervisor, GOP takes board

Hamburg will have a Democratic supervisor for the first time in 12 years, and newly elected James Shaw will work with a Republican Town Board.

Shaw, who has been a municipal attorney for several jurisdictions over his 42-year legal career, beat attorney Dennis Gaughan, 59-41 percent.

The big upset of the night came in the highway superintendent's race, where Ted Casey, an expert in environmental health and safety, beat incumbent Tom Best Sr., 54-46 percent. This was the first electoral loss for Best, the retired police captain who has served on the Frontier Central School Board and the Hamburg Town Board. He was appointed highway superintendent in 2009 and had been reelected to the post twice. His son, Tom Jr., is a Town Board member.

Shaw said the key to the supervisor's race was voter turnout, and phone calls and visits were made to registered Democrats leading up to the election, because, he said, a smaller number of voters usually come out in a non-presidential election year.

"Democrats and progressive independents have to turn out for me and for the rest of the Democratic slate to give us fighting chance to win," he said before results were in.

[Complete Erie County election results]

It seemed to have worked. Some election districts reported higher turnouts this year than last year.

Shaw said his message to the voters was simple:

"I have a good deal of integrity, I have the strength and moral toughness to withstand political pressure," he said.

Republicans won three seats on the Town Board. Democrats have had the edge on the old three-member board the last four years.

Elected to four-year terms on the Town Board were Lake Shore school counselor Beth Farrell, a Republican, with 28 percent, and Republican Mike Petrie, Blasdell mayor and the owner of Petrie's Ceramic Tile, with 26 percent. Democrats Laura Palisano Hackathorn, Hamburg Village trustee and boutique owner, received 25 percent and Cheryl Potter-Juda, a former Town Board member and retired Lackawanna teacher, polled 22 percent.

Republican Michael Mosey, regional manager for Magic White and a business consultant, won the two-year seat on the board, beating Democratic attorney Matthew Kibler, 53-47 percent.

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