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Wilfong, Borrello Win GOP Primaries

Doors at Christ First United Methodist Church, located at 663 Lakeview Ave., Jamestown, indicating where people should enter to vote during Tuesday’s primary election. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Current Chautauqua County Legislator David Wilfong has won the Jamestown Mayoral Republican primary with 64 percent of the vote.

On Tuesday, Wilfong defeated Andrew Liuzzo, Jamestown City Councilman, by a vote of 480 to 271, according to the unofficial vote posted by the Chautauqua County Board of Elections. With Wilfong’s victory, he will now be on two party lines in November because he also received the endorsement of the Conservative Party.

“I certainly want to reach out to all the Republican voters who took time out of their busy schedules to come out to vote for me,” he said. “I look forward to the fall election where I’ll be running against Eddie Sundquist, and I’ll have to get back out there and do it again in order to be successful in the fall.”

Sundquist has received the endorsements from the Democratic, Independence and Working Families parties.

In Ward 2, incumbent Anthony Dolce won the Republican primary 119 to 34, defeating Raven Mason Thompson. Dolce is currently serving his 24th year on the council. Dolce will have three lines on the Election Day ballot because he also received endorsements from the Conservative and Independence parties. He will face Thomas Vitale, who has been endorsed by the Democratic and Working Families parties, on Nov. 5.

Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello has defeated Curtis Crandall, Allegany County Board of Legislators chairman, by a margin of 7,453 to 4,247 in the 57th State Senate District Republican primary. Borrello will be up against the Democratic endorsed candidate Austin T. Morgan of Cattaraugus County on Election Day. Morgan is a 22-year old Cornell University graduation with a degree in human development.

“I’m certainly proud and humbled by the strong support,” Borrello said after his primary victory. “Now it’s time to unite the Republican Party throughout the district to make sure we are victorious in November. I look forward to representing the district and pushing back against the radical agenda in Albany.”

The 57th Senate District includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and parts of Livingston counties. The position became available after Cathy Young, R-Olean, resigned from the position to lead the Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech. The winner on Election Day will finish the one year remaining on the original term.

Bill Ward of Mayville defeated Richard Syper of Mayville by a vote of 289 to 152 in the Republican primary for the Chautauqua County Legislature District 18. Both candidates will still participate in the Nov. 5 election as Syper has received the endorsement of the Conservative Party. Ward will now have the support of four party lines because he was also endorsed by the Democratic, Independence and Working Families parities. District 18 represents the towns of Chautauqua, Sherman and Mina.

“Well I’m certainly surprised. You know I’m a bit of an outsider,” Ward said after his victory. “Rick is a good guy. He is a community servant. He has a history of that kind of service leadership. I was glad to be in the same room as him. To have these kind of results, I’m humbled by it.

Ward said even though he won the primary against Syper Tuesday, he expects a formidable challenge in November. He also said he was proud to run an election that didn’t involve going door-to-door or using phone calls.

“We relied on the message getting out and it was refreshing that it did,” he said.

VOTER TURNOUT

Voter turnout was light for the primary elections on Tuesday, said Norm Green, Chautauqua County Democratic election commissioner.

“Things are pretty slow. We thought things might heat up a little bit,” Green said about the typical low voter turnout for a primary election.

Green said he thinks the change of the state’s primary date being moved up this year to June instead of its usual September time frame has added to the poor voter turnout.

“It effects it negatively because human beings are creatures of habit and (the new primary election time) hasn’t sunk in yet,” Green said.

Steven Anderson, a Chautauqua County Board of Elections poll worker at Christ First United Methodist Church, located at 663 Lakeview Ave., Jamestown, said only 79 out of 463 eligible voters had turned out to vote through the first five hours of polling Tuesday. He said even though the polling place had a low turnout, he said it might be one of the highest of all the districts because voters were able to vote for more candidates than other districts, with an opportunity to vote for the 57th State Senate District, Jamestown Mayor and Ward 2 council positions.

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