LITTLE VALLEY — Republicans appeared to have captured all but one of the 17 Cattaraugus County Legislature seats, based on incomplete election returns Tuesday night.
“We’ve done very, very, very well,” Cattaraugus County Republican Party Chairman Robert Keis Sr. said about an hour after the polls closed.
Going into the election, Republicans controlled 12 of the 17 County Legislature seats.
“We won all three seats in Olean and picked up two in Allegany,” Keis said.
Kelly Andreano, Frank Higgins and Rick Smith were the GOP winners in District 8, which includes the city of Olean.
Unofficially, Andreano received 1,499 votes; Higgins received 1,396; and Rick Smith, 1,164. Democrats Adam Jester received 1,145 votes; John Crawford, 1,139; and Gerard leFeber, 870. A more complete picture of vote totals were not available for Conservative Party candidate Brin George or Libertarian Matt Peterson-Volz, but those reported to the Times Herald were far below those of the Republican and Democratic candidates.
In District 6, Republicans Robert Parker and Donald Benson, both of Allegany, topped Democrats Barbara J. Hastings and incumbent Vergilio “Dick” Giardini.
In District 7, Republican incumbent Joseph Snyder and Republican Kip Morrow of Portville were all but unopposed.
At 10:30 p.m., Republicans were still unsure whether they’d won one seat in Salamanca.
“It looks like it’s going to be a Republican night,” groaned Cattaraugus County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Puglisi. “We’re going to end up with one Democrat on the County Legislature.
Puglisi spoke from Democratic headquarters in Salamanca at the Holy Cross Club after the polls closed. “I don’t have any answers why. Our people campaigned and talked to people.”
Keis offered a couple of reasons why Republicans did so well. “It was a combination of things. We had very good candidates. Also, the demeanor of the country. The economy is good and employment is high. I also think Gov. Andrew Cuomo helped us with all the stupid stuff that’s going on in Albany lately.”
Keis exclaimed, “I’m happy as hell. We had super candidates and they ran good races.”
County Legislature Minority Leader Susan Labuhn, D-Salamanca, said. “You can’t always win. I don’t feel bad. I had eight good years. The way it looks, Dave Koch will be the only Democrat on the County Legislature next year.”
Labuhn said there appeared to be a Republican sentiment in many of her visits with voters. “I attribute it to everything that’s going on in the country,” she said, adding many voters had expressed displeasure with Cuomo.
“My sister in Great Valley said someone sent out texts telling voters to vote Republican to get Cuomo out,” Labuhn said.
The unofficial results from the Cattaraugus County Board of Elections follows. Political parties are: D for Democrat, R for Republican, C for Conservative, I for Independence Party, WF for Working Families and L for Libertarian.
District 1 - Vote for two
Mary Jane Stuhr, D, WF, 378
Constance Johnson, D, 375
*Andrew Burr, R, C, I, 1,306
*Richard Klancer, R, C I, 1,298
District 2 - Vote for two
Edward Arnold, D, WF, 571
Mike Miles, D, WF, 515
*Joseph Boberg, R, C, I, 1,372
*Richard Helmich Jr., R, C, I, 1,243
District 3 - Vote for two
Sharon Mathe, D, WF, 713
Colette Schoening, D, WF, 660
Michael Brisky, R, C, I, 1,223
Ginger Schroder, R, C, I, 1,215
Chad Neal, L, 121
Abram Stanczykowski, L, 51
District 4 - Vote for two
John Hale, D, 620
Matthew Ring, D, 648
*Howard VanRensselaer, R, C, I, 1,178
*Norman Marsh, R, C, I, 972
District 5 - Vote for two
*Susan Labuhn, D, WF, 872
*David Koch, D, WF, 935
Laurie Hunt, R, C, I, 1,012
Jeremy Kasperek, L, 39
Damon Stokes, 165
District 6 - Vote for two
*Barbara J. Hastings, D, WF, 939
*Vergilio “Dick” Giardini, D, WF, 836
Robert Parker, R., C, I, 996
Donald Benson, R, C, I, 952
District 7 - Vote for two
*Joseph Snyder, R, 1,233
Kip Morrow, R, C, 1,352
Anthony Costa, L, 88
Eric Firkel, 346
District 8 - Vote for three
Adam Jester, D, WF, L, 1,145
John Crawford, D, WF, L, 1,139
Gerard LeFeber, D, WF, 870
*Frank Higgins, R, C, I, 1,396
Kelly Andreano, R, C, I, 1,504
Rick Smith, R, 1,164
Brian George, C, I, 272
Matt Peterson-Volz, L, 54