"It was a good day for voters in Chautauqua County." Those are the feelings of County Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green, who says voter turn-out was good for an "off-year" election, especially in Legislature District One.
Green adds that Jamestown voter turn-out was much lower, in the 20% range. He says that he and Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram were predicting a 30-percent voter turn-out.
However, with the absentee ballots, overall turnout was 40-percent. Green says 2,132 absentee ballots were handed out and over half have been returned as of yesterday. He says it will be at least six days before ballots and affidavits are counted.
Green says the affidavits are capped "full-fledged provisionally" for several reasons including, someone may have moved or the Department of Motor Vehicles did not give a record of voter registration.
It appears there will be two new members of the Jamestown City Council in the new year.
But, that's pending the election canvass and absentee ballot count. Currently, the machine count shows that Republican Kim Ecklund was the top vote getter among at-large candidates in Tuesday's election with 2,298 votes.
Ecklund far outdistanced second-place finisher, Democrat Vanessa Weinert, who had 1,954 votes. Unlike previous years, Ecklund did not have the Independence Party line because her name was for an unknown reason not transferred to the final document to go on the ballot. She says that didn't spur her on because, with six people running she knew she had to work hard regardless.
Current Council President Greg Rabb is in fifth-place following the machine ballot count on Tuesday. However, he may still be re-elected depending on how the absentee ballots come in.
After Weinert, Republican challenger Andrew Liuzzo was in third-place for the third seat with 1,952 votes. Second-Ward Councilman Tony Dolce was handly re-elected, and expressed mixed feelings about Rabb's defeat because they have worked well together. Right now, it appears Democrats will hold a slim, 5-to-4 majority for 2018.
Late yesterday, the Board of Elections released the absentee ballots for each "to close to call" race in the county. In the at-large Council race in Jamestown, there were 446 absentee ballots issued and, 230 are returned. Currently Weinert is second with 1,954 while Rabb is 100 behind with 1,854.
The new Chautauqua County Executive-elect says the transition into the new office is underway today and, he still has some big decisions to make on his administration.
That from County Legislator George Borrello of Irving, who defeated Democrat Michael Ferguson in Tuesdays election with 63-percent of the vote. Borrello defeated Ferguson, 16,455 to 9,586 tallies. He would not say if he would retain any of current County Executive Vince Horrigan's cabinet and department heads.
Borrello congratulated Ferguson, who likewise, congratulated Borrello on his win and, for sticking with the issues. Ferguson says he's "proud" of the race both he and Borrello waged.
During his concession speak at Rooties in Dunkirk, Ferguson thanked his family for their unwavering support, as well as other supporters who he got to know so well during the campaign.
Statewide, New Yorkers defeated a proposal holding a constitutional convention.
About 77% of voters rejected the proposition. Two other proposals on the ballot passed, including one that dealt with stripping the pensions of public officials convicted of felonies related to their jobs. The other creating a forest preserve land bank. Chautauqua County voters rejected Proposal One with 88 percent of the vote, while approving the other two proposals.
It was a difficult final week of the campaign but, incumbant Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore was re-elected to another, four year term.
While he was pleased with the win, Barmore says he was as also very relieved it was over. The Gerry Republican got 58% of the vote Tuesday to Democratic challenger Lee Ann Lazarony's 42%.
Barmore says he's "got broad shoulders" and can take the personal attacks when they come but, says it's hard on the family. He received 14,888 votes, while Lazarony the former Mayor of Cassadaga received 10,690 votes.
Dunkirk city voters elected a new judge in a three-way contest for the seat held by long-time City Judge Walter Drag.
Democrat John Kuzdale defeated Republican Joseph Price and Green Party candidate Ron Szot. Kuzdale received 1,118 votes, beating out Price who had 937 and Szot with 230. The winner will succeed Drag who announced his retirement earlier this year.
In the only other contested race in the city, former County Legislator Shaun Heenan, a Republican, beat incumbent Democrat Adelino Gonzalez, 1,177-947. Heenan also previously served as Common Councilman-at-large.
A Jamestown woman faces multiple charges for allegedly driving drunk during an accident in a grocery store parking lot Tuesday afternoon.
City police responded to the Save-A-Lot at 194 Fluvanna Avenue
for a motor vehicle accident. During an investigation, officer determined that 26 year-old Jordan Becker's car had left the roadway while attempting to left-turn onto Fluvanna Avenue from Washington Street.
The vehicle went through the Save-A-Lot parking lot and struck a parked vehicle. Becker was found to be operating her vehicle in an intoxicated condition and was arrested. She is being held in City Jail pending arraignment.