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News, notes and observations following Election 2019: Give Lynne Dixon credit – the unsuccessful Republican/Independence candidate for Erie County executive did pretty well. Dixon lost by seven points to Democratic incumbent Mark Poloncarz, close enough to pronounce that her candidacy was worth a shot. That seven-point difference, however, serves a sobering message t…

Local News

Joseph Spino is an endangered political species in the Northtowns. Assuming his 48-vote lead over his Democratic opponent holds up after absentee ballots are counted, Spino would join the Amherst Town Board as its only Republican. Amherst would have the only town board with a dissenting voice in the most populated of Erie County's northern suburbs. In Tuesday's el…

Local News

ALBANY – A federal judge in Buffalo this afternoon sided with an arbitration panel that earlier this year said the Seneca Nation of Indians wrongly withheld at least $255 million in casino revenue payments to New York State. U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny said the tribe and state explicitly agreed in a 2002 compact that disputes arising over casino matters…

Environment

WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer wants the federal government to get serious in dealing with the toxic algae blooms that have sprouted this year in Chautauqua Lake and similar bodies of water around the state. To that end, Schumer on Thursday wrote a letter to the head of the Army Corps of Engineers, asking him to bring new algae-fighting technolog…

Local News

Brian D. Seaman, a former Niagara County assistant district attorney, announced Thursday that he will run for district attorney in 2020. Seaman, who has been an attorney in private practice for the past six years, said he always hoped for a chance to come back to the District Attorney's Office – and now that incumbent DA Caroline A. Wojtaszek has announced she's running…

Erie County

The Erie County Board of Elections' plan was to post early voting results online by 9:15 p.m. Tuesday. But at 9:15, results were not online. That was when elections officials said results would be online by 9:30. At 9:45, they still were not online. That was around the time that a Board of Elections spokesperson told a reporter, “This isn’t about fast. This is abo…

Local News

WASHINGTON – David Bellavia took to the stage of a Washington Post auditorium Wednesday with his Medal of Honor draped around his neck. And over the next half-hour, in the latest stop on his long tour as an evangelist for the U.S. Army, he demystified and humanized the making of a war hero. He told of the fear he felt nearly 15 years earlier, when he thought he had been…

Politics

WASHINGTON – Democrats on Tuesday came away as surprise winners in parts of America that are usually painted deep red. And the chairman of the Democratic National Committee – Buffalo native Thomas E. Perez – thinks it's because the party is becoming just what he promised it would be: one that can compete in every corner of the country. "In February 2017, I ran for ch…

Local News

Niagara County District Attorney Caroline A. Wojtaszek said Wednesday that she will run for county judge in 2020 instead of seeking a second term as DA. Wojtaszek hopes to succeed Judge Sara Sheldon, who is ineligible to run for a third 10-year term because she reaches the state's mandatory judicial retirement age of 70 next year. "The new political calendar dictates…

Cheektowaga

Cheektowaga Councilwoman Christine Adamczyk will assume the post of deputy supervisor, taking over the post from Brian Nowak, who served in the role since August 2018, Supervisor Diane Benczkowski announced Wednesday. The appointment is effective immediately. “Councilmember Adamczyk’s values are more in line with my vision as to what is needed to work with me to meet…

Local News

1) A night of nail-biters The unofficial election results are in, but there still are some candidates wondering if they won or lost. There are 123 votes separating the candidates for supervisor in Lancaster, and the race for Town Board seats is close in Amherst, Orchard Park and Aurora. But candidates will have to wait at least two weeks. "Nothing is going to star…

Columns

The delay in getting election night results Tuesday in the race for Erie County executive led to a suspenseful competition on the 11 p.m. newscasts on the three local network affiliates. And the winner was … WGRZ-TV (Channel 2). While WIVB-TV (Channel 4) and WKBW-TV (Channel 7) were still extending the suspense by suggesting the race between Democratic incumbent Mark…

Local News

The good fortune that swung to Erie County's Democrats on Tuesday could lubricate the party's machinery by protecting the patronage and filling the bank accounts as the party heads toward 2020. "It's not a bad thing tonight to be a Democrat in Erie County," said the Rev. Darius Pridgen, who will continue to lead an all-Democratic Buffalo Common Council. Mark C. Polon…

Amherst

Jeanne M. Vinal, a political newcomer, won election Tuesday to represent Amherst in the Erie County Legislature. Vinal, a Democrat, defeated Republican Shelly D. Schratz to capture the 5th Legislative District seat. The district is currently represented by Democrat Thomas Loughran, who did not seek re-election. Vinal, 55, an attorney in private practice, has been cam…

City of Tonawanda

Erie County Legislator Kevin R. Hardwick won another term in office Tuesday representing the 4th District. Hardwick, 62, a political science professor at Canisius College, defeated his Republican challenger Jacob J. McMahon, 23, a Grand Island firefighter and former Marine. The nine-year incumbent has been representing the city and town of Tonawanda and Grand Island …