Several Incumbents Retain Seat On Legislature

David Wilfong speaks Tuesday in Maville following his re-election to the Chautauqua County Legislature. Wilfong was one of many members to retain their seats in the legislature. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Many Republican candidates have retained their seats on the Chautauqua County Legislature following Tuesday’s general election.

Legislator Kevin Muldowney, R-Dunkirk, was re-elected to the Chautauqua County Legislature, as well as Legislator John Hemmer, R-Westfield. Others who were re-elected Tuesday included legislators Robert Scudder, R-Fredonia; Pierre Chagnon, R-Bemus Point; David Wilfong, R-Jamestown; Elisabeth Rankin, R-Jamestown; and David Himelein, R-Findley Lake, according to unofficial results by the Chautauqua County Board of Elections.

Newcomer John Davis was also elected to represent District 16. Likewise, Kevin O’Connell, Democratic candidate, was elected to represent District 6.

Wilfong was present at the Republican Committee gathering at Webb’s Captain’s Table in Mayville and offered words of thanks. He expressed gratitude to the Republican Party, the voters and Anna Wilcox, Chautauqua County Conservative Party chairwoman.

“You don’t get elected by yourself,” he said.

Likewise, Rankin was grateful to those who elected her for the third time and supported her through her campaign.

“I love this job,” she said. “I want to continue as long as possible. I want to make Chautauqua an attractive place to be.”

Scudder, meanwhile, said he is excited and humbled at the same time.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with the new county executive, George Borrello. I really feel like we can get some things accomplished.”

Scudder said he was thankful to everyone who supported him and that he looks forward to serving the county residents for another two years.

Frank Besse, Democratic candidate challenging Wilfong, said the experience of running for office is one he hasn’t taken off the table entirely for the future. Besse said he was thankful for those who supported him in his first foray into politics.

“Right now it’s just kind of going forward and seeing where I can fit involved with the Democratic process and the democratic party and looking at how I can get involved in the community in other ways,” he said. “That’s why I got into this because I care about the community, so we’ll move forward and do things outside of politics.”

David Reinhardt, Democratic candidate challenging Rankin, wished his opponent luck in the future.

“I want to congratulate Elisabeth on running a good campaign and continued success in representing District 12 in Mayville,” Reinhardt said.

Noncontested races saw legislators Paul Whitford, D-Jamestown; Chuck Nazzarro, D-Jamestown; Lisa Vanstrom, R-Jamestown; PJ Wendel, R-Lakewood; Christine Starks, D-Fredonia; Mark Odell, R-Brocton; Daniel W. Pavlock, R-Sinclairville; Frank Gould, R-Ashville; Robert Bankoski, D-Dunkirk and Terry Niebel, R-Dunkirk, re-elected.