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Young unofficially wins Tonawanda Third Ward race after absentee ballots counted

Republican challenger Michael R. Young declared himself the winner Tuesday of the City of Tonawanda Third Ward Common Council seat after absentee ballots were counted and his slim lead over Councilmember Sean Rautenstrauch grew slightly.

Young was ahead by 11 votes after absentee ballots were counted at the Erie County Board of Elections two weeks after the Nov. 7 election.

In unofficial results, Young has 542 votes to Rautenstrauch's 531. Seven affidavit ballots have not been counted, but Rautenstrauch said Tuesday that even if he won them all it would not be enough to defeat Young.

"I'm disappointed that I lost, but I am proud of the work I've done over the past two years," said Rautenstrauch, who visited Young at his home and congratulated him on the victory.

Young was ahead of Rautenstrauch by 8 votes on election night.

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