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A Quiet, Decisive Election In County

This year was one of the most quiet elections I can remember in Chautauqua County. The lawn signs that did go up, were few and far-between. They also went up relatively late in the political campaign. There also didn’t seem to be a lot advertising–at least in my world which means newspaper and radio. (Forget about social media when it comes to me.)

The results were also quite predictable though the size and sweep of the Republican victory was unprecedented. The newspaper headline described it as a “Red Tsunami.” Another way to put it would be to say that the Democrats got “shellacked!”

The Republican candidate for County Executive won in decisive style, winning by a three to one margin. He now deserves a rest from campaigning. He had to run last year to fulfill the term of the prior executive who had gone to the state Senate. Now, he can focus on the issues of governance that face the county, without needing to worry about a political campaign for at least the next four years.

Since the candidates for state Supreme Court had been cross-endorsed by the Republican and Democratic Parties, there was no race there. However, the county benefitted from the cross-endorsement in that we will now have a Supreme Court Judge in Mayville who is a Chautauqua County resident.

The other major issues in the election were actually on the back of the ballot where five changes to the New York State Constitution were voted on. It appears that those dealing with election reforms and redistricting were defeated. The proposition making clean air and water a “right” in the state passed. The Farm Bureau had opposed this out of fear that in an urbanized state like New York, it might contribute to environmental “over-reach.” Farmers have found out through experience that well-intentioned legislation or court action can result in making their lives more difficult.

At the western New York level, the most interesting race was in the contest for Mayor of Buffalo. The incumbent, who was defeated in the Democratic Primary, came back to defeat the endorsed Democratic candidate–an upstart, out-spoken Democratic “socialist.” Big names in liberal politics came in from New York City to support the challenger, but the people of Buffalo said: “No, we will stick with our more moderate, middle-of-the-road Mayor.” So much for those who think that all Democrats are from the “deep left.”

Back to our county–congratulations to the Republicans and to those who won and will now lead us in Mayville. You have a lot of work to do, and we out here in the “boon-docks” wish you good luck in your work in the days ahead. Chautauqua County has a lot of challenges and you have our support as you undertake your civic duties!

As for the Democrats in the county, they need to “reboot” and re-energize themselves so that they can again become a competitive political force in our community. If there is a “silver lining” for them, it is that they now have many opportunities in running for office at all levels of government. If you are a Democrat, there is no place to go but “up.”

Rolland Kidder is a Stow resident.

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