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Tonawanda salaried workers back GOP Town Board contenders

The union representing town salaried workers is backing the Republican candidates for two Tonawanda Town Board seats this year.

The town's Salaried Workers Association endorsed Skip Kowal, who's challenging Democrat Carl Szarek, and Gigi Grizanti, who opposes Democrat Shannon Patch.

Union President L. Edward Allen III said his 140 members are unhappy they haven't received a raise since their last contract expired in 2011. Allen blames "failed negotiations" by the all-Democratic Town Board and said new voices are needed in town government.

Kowal, an assistant restaurant manager, and Szarek, a former deputy county clerk, are running to replace Councilman Daniel Crangle. Grizanti, a nonprofit executive, is running against Patch, who recently filled a Town Board vacancy.

Patch, in response, said she appreciates the services provided by town employees and looks forward to engaging with the union as it seeks a contract.

The union hasn't endorsed anyone yet in the race between Democratic Supervisor Joseph Emminger and Republican Chuck Sankey, a utility worker.

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