Annable survives write-in challenge

Ross Annable

In contested town-level races, voters chose to stick with familiar names to staff their councils and supervisor's offices. Here are the outcomes, according to unofficial vote tallies reported late Tuesday by the Niagara County Board of Elections.

Hartland Supervisor Ross Annable, who was thought to be unopposed, ended up facing a write-in challenger from the recently formed grassroots group Protect Our Rural Communities, whose members oppose a proposed 1,500-acre solar project in Hartland and Newfane. Mike Outten and James Miner led a write-in campaign for town supervisor and town council member, respectively. 

Annable won with 505 votes and 407 write-in votes were cast. Councilman Clifford Grant received 697 votes, Councilman David Hill received 548 votes and 364 write-in votes were received.


Asked to select two among three candidates for town council seats, voters chose to retain long-time councilman David Leible and embraced a newcomer, Jason Evchich.

Leible, a Republican who has served on the town board for 16 years, fielded the most votes for re-election, 1,076.

Evchich, also a Republican, got 872 votes; and fellow first-time candidate Amanda Irons-Rindfleisch, a Democrat, received 720 votes.

A ballot proposition to extend the town clerk's term of office to four years was approved by a 792-588 margin.


Voters already once rejected town councilman Joseph Ohol, who lost the Republican line in the June primary to newcomer Benjamin Musall, after Ohol was linked to a controversial solar project proposed in the town. Ohol secured the Democratic line in the general election, but it didn't help him. Among four candidates for two council seats, Ohol received the fewest votes, 305.

Republicans Musall and Matthew Foe, a strong critic of the solar project, received the most votes, 1,016 and 948 respectively. Democrat David Edbauer received 384 votes.

Longtime town supervisor Wright Ellis defeated his Libertarian challenger, Shane Gustafson, by a 939-409 vote margin.


In Newfane, voters selecting two council members were faced with three candidates for office: two incumbents and a local business owner aiming to become the sole Democratic member of the council. 

Laura Rutland and Troy Barnes retained their seats, having landed 1,165 votes and 1,236 votes respectively. Challenger Vivianne Singer Szulist received 444 votes.

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