MAYVILLE – With only eight of 19 contested races in the Chautauqua County Legislature, there wasn’t expected to be much of a change, and that sentiment held true following the 2015 Elections, with only a handful of new faces joining the ranks of the legislature.
FOUR NEW NAMES ADDED TO 19 MEMBER LEGISLATURE
The legislature will have just four new members starting in January, with only one incumbent being unseated in a contested race on Election Day.
In District 2, challenger Robert Bankoski (D-Dunkirk) defeated incumbent Shaun Heenan (R-Dunkirk) 679 to 365.
Two other newcomers were also elected after winning their respective contested races. In District 1, Kevin Muldowney (R-Dunkirk) defeated Democrat William Rivera (D-Dunkirk) 693 to 385. Muldowney will take the seat currently held by long-time legislator Keith Ahlstrom (D-Dunkirk), who did not seek reelection.
And in District 7, Mark Odell (R-Portland) defeated David Wilkinson (D-Cassadaga) 653 to 289. Odell will take the seat vacated by outgoing legislator John Runkle (R-Stockton), who is not seeking reelection.
The final newcomer is District 4‘s Christine Starks (D-Fredonia), who ran unopposed and will take over the seat held by legislator Janet Keefe (D-Fredonia), who also did not seek reelection.
REPUBLICANS SWEEP REMAINING CONTESTED RACES
There were two contested legislature races in the Jamestown area, and both Republican incumbents won reelection. In District 11 David Wilfong (R-Jamestown) defeated Robert Whitney (D-Jamestown) 347 to 305. In District 12, it was incumbent Elisabeth Rankin (R-Jamestown) defeating challenger Beth Kresge (D-Jamestown) 430 to 399. Both races were rematches from the 2013 election.
Other incumbents being reelected despite having opposition on the ballet were Legislature Chairman and Jay Gould (R-Ashville, District 17), Bob Scudder (R-Fredonia, District 3) and Terry Niebel (R-Dunkirk, District 5).
As a result of the elections, the GOP gained a seat in the legislature, strengthening its super-majority. Of the 19 members, 15 will be Republicans, 4 will be Democrats.
WINNERS OF 2015 CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY LEGISLATURE ELECTIONS
D1: Kevin J. Muldowney (R-Dunkirk) (Won Contested Race)
D2: Robert Bankoski (D-Dunkirk) (Won Contested Race)
D3: Bob Scudder* (R-Fredonia) (Won Contested Race)
D4: Christine Starks (D-Fredonia)
D5: Terry Niebel* (R-Dunkirk) (Won Contested Race)
D6: George Borrello* (R-Irving)
D7: Mark Odell (R-Portland) (Won Contested Race)
D8: Pierre Chagnon* (R-Bemus Point)
D9: Charles Nazzaro* (D-Jamestown)
D10: Paul Wendell* (R-Lakewood)
D11: David Wilfong* (R-Jamestown) (Won Contested Race)
D12: Elisabeth Rankin* (R-Jamestown) (Won Contested Race)
D13: Paul Whitford* (D-Jamestown)
D14: Mark Tarbrake* (R-Jamestown)
D15: Lisa Vanstrom* (R-Jamestown)
D16: Ronald Lemon* (R-Frewsburg)
D17: Jay Gould* (R-Ashville) (Won Contested Race)
D18: David Himelein* (R-Findley Lake)
D19: John Hemmer* (R-Westfield)
* – Incumbent