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Republican Led Majority to Take Over County Legislature



Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - For the first time since 1977, a coalition led by Republicans have taken the majority of the races in the Erie County Legislature, in a move that will take the chairmanship, top staff appointments and control of the agenda away from Democrats.

The complete rundown: Democratic incumbents Betty Jean Grant, Lynn Marinelli, Thomas Loughran return, along with Republican incumbents Kevin Hardwick, Ed Rath, and John Mills. Independent Lynne Dixon and Independence Party candidate Joe Lorigo, who both caucus with the Republicans, were also returned to office, giving them a fusion majority.

HEAR Erie GOP Chair Nick Langworthy &  Victorious Legislator Candidates

The Democrats had three shaky districts, and only held two of them . The difference was in the 8th District where Republican Ted Morton defeats Democrat Winnie Fisher, to flip the seat currently held by Terrence McCracken.

South Buffalo's Patrick Burke  a Democrat-- added to his improbable primary victory by succeeding Tom Mazur in the 7th District.T  Tim Hogues lost in the primary, but fellow Democrat Barbara Miller-Williams returns to the Legislature with tonight's win in the 1st District.

"It really is a thrill  for us Republicans to stand before you and say we are now the majority caucus in the Erie County Legislature," said Amherst's Ed Rath. " ... change is coming to Old County Hall. Absolutely. We are going to bring change that respects the taxpayers, that respects the businesses of Erie County. We are going to take this county forward, beyond where we have been.

"This minority caucus has been leading Erie County, even though we didn't have the votes. Now that we  have 6 votes we are going to bring about change that will make a massive and radical difference,"  Rath said.

With many of their victories adding up, the Republican led coalition took to the podium at the GOP Headquarters event with party chairman Nick Langworthy leading a parade of speeches praising the nature of the win.


"It's Historic.," Langworthy said. " This I believe is a referendum on (County Exec.) Mark Poloncarz's first term. .. They said they wanted different leadership in the Erie County legislature to hold him accountable, and I think you are going to see more accountability going forward." aid.

The change in leadership allows Republicans to hire their own staffers in charge of legislature business, including the selection of a new Chief of Staff. The post is currently held by Democratic Erie County Party Chairman Jeremy Zellner

"It's not so much losing that job,. it's losing the majority," says Carl Calabrese, a GOP political analyst and former Deputy County Executive, who adds that the Republican victories - including re-election of an incumbent Republican comptroller and Sheriff will make it far easier for the party to set the tone against Poloncarz, as they gear up to challenge him in 2014.

Current Legislature Chairperson Betty Jean Grant said the feat was a big deal for Republicans. As far as how much things in the legislature will change, Grant says that as long as the goal of each legislator is to improve the lives of their constituents, the process shouldn't change. "I'm hoping they'll be as inclusive as we were" Grant said. "I tried to be inclusive for the two years I've been Chair. I tried to be inclusive and accommodating, and I hope they repay that favor because once you get out of the election, you have to govern, and you have to govern for the interest of all of Erie County and not just the party that's in the majority."
 

 
Office   COUNTY LEGISLATOR 1ST DIST    
  PARTY 100 Districts out of   109 Reporting (91)% Votes Percent
  D BARBARA MILLER-WILLIAMS 5,333 70%
  W TIMOTHY R. HOGUES 2,328 30%
    Office Totals 7,661 100%
 
Office   COUNTY LEGISLATOR 2ND DIST    
  PARTY 81 Districts out of   84 Reporting (96)% Votes Percent
  D BETTY JEAN GRANT 8,043 90%
  W BETTY JEAN GRANT 903 10%
    BETTY JEAN GRANT  Totals 8,946 100%
    Office Totals 8,946 100%
 
Office   COUNTY LEGISLATOR 3RD DIST    
  PARTY 88 Districts out of   89 Reporting (98)% Votes Percent
  D LYNN M. MARINELLI 7,694 62%
  W LYNN M. MARINELLI 1,129 9%
    LYNN M. MARINELLI  Totals 8,823 71%
  R JENNIFER P. STERGION 2,493 20%
  C JENNIFER P. STERGION 665 5%
  I JENNIFER P. STERGION 442 4%
    JENNIFER P. STERGION  Totals 3,600 29%
    Office Totals 12,423 100%
 
Office   COUNTY LEGISLATOR 4TH DIST    
  PARTY 87 Districts out of   87 Reporting (100)% Votes Percent
  D WILLIAM C. CONRAD III 5,653 32%
  W WILLIAM C. CONRAD III 910 5%
    WILLIAM C. CONRAD III  Totals 6,563 37%
  R KEVIN R. HARDWICK 7,902 45%
  C KEVIN R. HARDWICK 1,786 10%
  I KEVIN R. HARDWICK 1,270 7%
    KEVIN R. HARDWICK  Totals 10,958 63%
    Office Totals 17,521 100%
 
Office   COUNTY LEGISLATOR 5TH DIST    
  PARTY 53 Districts out of   53 Reporting (100)% Votes Percent
  D THOMAS A. LOUGHRAN 6,902 45%
  C THOMAS A. LOUGHRAN 1,160 8%
  W THOMAS A. LOUGHRAN 609 4%
    THOMAS A. LOUGHRAN  Totals 8,671 56%
  R ROBERT N. ANDERSON 6,001 39%
  I ROBERT N. ANDERSON 785 5%
    ROBERT N. ANDERSON  Totals 6,786 44%
    Office Totals 15,457 100%
 
Office   COUNTY LEGISLATOR 6TH DIST    
  PARTY 54 Districts out of   55 Reporting (98)% Votes Percent
  D ALAN K. GETTER 4,039 27%
  R EDWARD A. RATH 7,967 54%
  C EDWARD A. RATH 1,800 12%
  I EDWARD A. RATH 1,029 7%
    EDWARD A. RATH  Totals 10,796 73%
    Office Totals 14,835 100%
 
Office   COUNTY LEGISLATOR 7TH DIST    
  PARTY 94 Districts out of   94 Reporting (100)% Votes Percent
  D PATRICK B. BURKE 6,643 58%
  R ELIAS A. FARAH 2,253 20%
  I ELIAS A. FARAH 465 4%
    ELIAS A. FARAH  Totals 2,718 24%
  C RICHARD A. ZYDEL 1,541 14%
  W RICHARD A. ZYDEL 502 4%
    RICHARD A. ZYDEL  Totals 2,043 18%
    Office Totals 11,404 100%
 
Office   COUNTY LEGISLATOR 8TH DIST    
  PARTY 77 Districts out of   77 Reporting (100)% Votes Percent
  D WYNNIE L. FISHER 5,622 36%
  LO WYNNIE L. FISHER 237 2%
    WYNNIE L. FISHER  Totals 5,859 37%
  R TED B. MORTON 6,390 41%
  C TED B. MORTON 1,743 11%
  I TED B. MORTON 821 5%
    TED B. MORTON  Totals 8,954 57%
  W WESLEY S. MOORE 949 6%
    Office Totals 15,762 100%
 
Office   COUNTY LEGISLATOR 9TH DIST    
  PARTY 77 Districts out of   85 Reporting (90)% Votes Percent
  D MICHAEL R. SCHRAFT 6,199 35%
  W MICHAEL R. SCHRAFT 837 5%
    MICHAEL R. SCHRAFT  Totals 7,036 39%
  R LYNNE DIXON 7,312 41%
  C LYNNE DIXON 2,128 12%
  I LYNNE DIXON 1,437 8%
    LYNNE DIXON  Totals 10,877 61%
    Office Totals 17,913 100%
 
Office   COUNTY LEGISLATOR 10TH DIST    
  PARTY 79 Districts out of   83 Reporting (95)% Votes Percent
  D LAUREN M. GRAY 5,410 31%
  W LAUREN M. GRAY 1,066 6%
    LAUREN M. GRAY  Totals 6,476 37%
  R JOSEPH C. LORIGO 7,709 44%
  C JOSEPH C. LORIGO 2,345 13%
  I JOSEPH C. LORIGO 1,042 6%
    JOSEPH C. LORIGO  Totals 11,096 63%
    Office Totals 17,572 100%
 
Office   COUNTY LEGISLATOR 11TH DIST    
  PARTY 69 Districts out of   71 Reporting (97)% Votes Percent
  R JOHN J. MILLS 9,258 64%
  C JOHN J. MILLS 2,610 18%
  I JOHN J. MILLS 2,498 17%
    JOHN J. MILLS  Totals 14,366 100%
    Office Totals 14,366 100%
 



 


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