MAYVILLE – Thursday was the deadline for candidates to hand in their petitions to the Chautauqua County Board of Elections in order to to run for office in the 2017 general election.
This year’s election features races for several local offices, including County Executive, County Clerk, and all 19 seats in the Chautauqua County Legislature.
Already announced candidates include Republican George Borrello (Irving) and Democrat Mike Ferguson (Fredonia) running for the open seat of County Executive after Vince Horrigan announce at the start of this year he would not seek another term in office. Running for county clerk will be Republican incumbent Larry Barmore of Gerry, being challenged by Democrat LeeAnn Lazarony of Cassadaga.
10 out of 19 Legislature Seats Uncontested
In addition to the two county-wide races, there will be nine contested races for in the 19-seat Chautauqua County Legislature, including two open seat races.
Contested races include:
- District 1 (Dunkirk) – Democrat Tommy Roque is facing Republican incumbent Kevin Muldowney;
- District 3 (Fredonia) – Democrat Robert Dando is facing Republican incumbent Bob Scudder;
- District 6 (Hanover) – Democrat Kevin O’Connell of Silver Creek is facing Republican Gary Cerne of Irving. The two are vying for the seat currently held by Borrello, who is running for County Executive;
- District 8 (Ellery and North Harmony) – Democrat Jeri Ann Simora of Stow is challenging Republican incumbent Pierre Chagnon of Bemus Point;
- District 11 (Jamestown) – Democrat Frank Besse is challenging Republican incumbent and County Republican Party Chair Dave Wilfong;
- District 12 (Jamestown) – Democrat Dave Reinhardt is challenging Republican incumbent Elisabeth Rankin;
- District 16 (Kiantone, Carrol, Poland) – Democrat and Poland Town Councilman Terry Walker of Kennedy is facing Republican John Davis of Frewsburg. The two are vying for the seat currently held by Republican Ron Lemon (Frewsburg) who has announced he will not seek reelection;
- District 18 (Chautauqua, Sherman, and Mina) – Independence Party member Ella Ames of Mayville is running on the Democratic ticket and is challenging Republican incumbent and Legislature Chairman David Himelein of Findley Lake;
- District 19 (Westfield and Ripley) – Democrat Laurel Adams of Ripley is challenging Republican incumbent John Hemmer of Westfield.
It appears 10 races will be uncontested this year.
The four incumbent Democratic legislators are all seeking re-election and are apparently not being opposed by Republicans. They include Minority Leader Chuck Nazzaro (District 9 – Jamestown) Assistant Minority Leader Bob Bankoski (District 2 – Dunkirk); Christine Starks (District 4 – Fredonia) and Paul Whitford (District 13 – Jamestown).
Six Republicans, including five incumbents, are also running unopposed. They are Terry Niebel (District 5 – Dunkirk), Mark O’Dell (District 7 – Brocton), Paul “PJ” Wendel (District 10- Lakewood), Lisa Vanstrom (District 15 – West Ellicott), and Frank “Jay” Gould (District 17 – Ashville).
Republican Dan Pavlock of Charlotte will be running unopposed in the open District 14 seat, which is being vacated by Republican Mark Tarbrake (Jamestown), who is vacating the seat due to moving out of the district. District 14 covers the Town of Ellicott north of I-86, along with the towns of Gerry, Ellington, and Charlotte.
Republicans currently hold at 15 to 4 majority in the legislature.