Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

September 11, 2013

Mongielo wins Conservative nod

BY JOE OLENICK AND JOYCE MILES, joe.olenick@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

David J. Mongielo will be on the November ballot for Lockport Town Supervisor, after winning Tuesday's Conservative primary over incumbent Supervisor Marc R. Smith.

According to unofficial results from the Niagara County Board of Elections, Mongielo edged Smith by a 37-21 vote with seven absentee ballots outstanding. The two will meet again in November, as Smith has the Republican line. Democrats did not field a candidate.

It's the second general election between the two, as Smith defeated Mongielo in the 2009 supervisor election. Smith was re-elected unopposed in 2011.

Even though Smith was the endorsed candidate, Mongielo called himself a true Conservative, which is what he thought drew Conservative voters to pick him. A former Republican, Mongielo said he switched from the GOP after his time on the town Republican committee.

While happy with Tuesday's result, Mongielo said he knew the general election will be tough with so many more voters to reach.

"I'm going to keep working for positive change," Mongielo said. 

Mongielo said he was disappointed with the voter turnout. The Conservative turnout was sparse, as there are 333 registered voters in the Town of Lockport.

City of Lockport, 5th Ward

A clear winner didn't emerge Tuesday night in the Republican primary contest between incumbent Alderman Kenneth M. Genewick and his challenger, Phyllis J. Green. The vote count, 120 for Genewick and 99 for Green, is not decisive because there are up to 27 absentee ballots to be counted.

To take the GOP ballot line in the general election, Green would have to get at least 25 absentee votes from fellow Republicans.

Genewick said late Tuesday that he's "confident" he'll emerge the primary winner. "We're on to the general (election) now," he added.

Green already has the Democratic ballot line in the November election, while Genewick has the Conservative and Independence lines.

Lockport Town Board

Two members will be returning to the Town Board. Incumbents Mark C. Crocker and Patricia Dufour took both Republican lines in Tuesday's primary, beating first-time candidate Paul R. Black. Crocker finished with 521 votes, followed by Dufour with 487 votes and Black with 228 votes.

Crocker and Dufour campaigned together, highlighting the accomplishments of the Town Board. Crocker said he believed Republican voters saw that both had a plan to maintain the town's financial success.

"We know how to get the job done," Crocker said.

"I am humbled by the support of voters," Dufour, who was appointed to the Town Board in January, said. "I promise to do the best job I can."

Town of Lockport Justice

The Town Board will lose one member. Councilwoman Cheryl A. Antkowiak took all three lines in the town justice race, winning Republican, Democrat and Working Families lines over John J. Ben. Antkowiak, a Republican, won the GOP contest 450-200, the Democrat primary 121-68 and the Working Families election 6-3.

With no general election opponent, Antkowiak will replace the retiring Justice Raymond Schilling. Working for the courts is something Antkowiak has wanted to do for some time.

"I'm very excited, just elated," she said. "It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it."

Antkowiak said she spent a lot of time speaking with residents. It was her 20 years working in the community, mostly as a member of the recreation committee and as a Town Board member, that drew voters her way, Antkowiak said.

Niagara County Legislature, 15th District (Roy-Hart)

Joshua Walker appears to have wrested his Conservative party line from committee-endorsed candidate Michael Hill, the Republican incumbent 15th District legislator. In the primary, Walker received 28 votes, Hill received 25 votes and there is only one absentee ballot outstanding, from a Royalton resident, according to the Board of Elections. Walker has the Democratic line on the November ballot and Hill has the GOP and Independence lines.

Pendleton town council

Eileen Czarnecki and Ed Harman, incumbent councilman, staved off a challenge from fellow registered Democrat Aimee Jarvis in a three-way race for two Democratic ballot lines in November. Czarnecki led the pack with 135 votes. Harman received 116 votes and Jarvis, who's also running on the Republican line in the November election, received 101 votes. With only 12 absentee ballots outstanding, this party fight has been settled.

Harman, who sent a pre-primary election letter to Democrats in town referencing attempted Republican infiltration of the local party, said he's grateful for the election results. "I'm really glad it turned out that way. I would have been really disappointed if the Democrats lost an endorsed candidate" to infiltration.

On the other hand, GOP-led write-in campaigns to wrest the Working Families ballot line from the Czarnecki-Harman team and Democratic town Supervisor James Riester in the general election appear to have succeeded. According to the county Board of Elections' unofficial polling results, Czarnecki received 1 vote, Harman received 2 votes and unnamed others received a total of 12 write-in votes.

In the supervisor's race, Riester received 3 votes and unnamed others received 6 write-in votes. Write-in candidates are not disclosed by the Board of Elections on election night.

By a 40-4 vote margin, incumbent town highway superintendent Jeff Stowell staved off a challenge from fellow Conservative party member Aaron Bair, keeping that ballot line in the November election. Bair goes into the election with the Democratic line while Stowell also has the GOP and Independence lines.

Newfane town council

It appears the incumbent in a three-way race for two GOP ballot lines to fill two council seats, Robert A. Pettit, lost the party fight to newcomers Rick Coleman and Susan L. Neidlinger. Coleman received 296 votes, Neidlinger received 272 votes and Pettit got 161 votes. Only 56 absentee ballots were issued, according to the Board of Elections, meaning there's no way for Pettit to catch up.

Somerset highway superintendent

In a four-way race to fetch the all-important GOP line in the highway superintendent's election, self-employed truck driver Michael M. Flint was the top vote-getter, receiving 180 votes to Jonathan D. Dewart's 163 votes, Carl A. Austin's 39 votes and Louis J. Mead's 17 votes.

There are 23 absentee ballots outstanding in the race, though, giving Dewart some hope of eclipsing Flint in the end.

Dewart, a longtime town water department employee, has the Conservative and Independence ballot lines in the November general election.

PRIMARY 2013 Across Niagara County, some close primary races won't be called until after absentee ballots are counted by the Board of Elections. According to a board clerk, absentee ballots that were postmarked by Sept. 9, and are received by Sept. 17, are valid. All results are unofficial until confirmed by the board of elections.