Contests for spots on the November ballot for Wheatfield supervisor and Town Board, Lewiston supervisor and Niagara Falls City Council highlight today’s primary elections in Niagara County.
In Wheatfield, Robert B. Cliffe and Thomas J. Larson square off in a Republican primary for supervisor.
Cliffe, a former town justice, is seeking his third two-year term, while Larson, although a Republican, has the Democratic line in the general election.
There are also Republican and Democratic primaries for the Town Board.
On the Republican side, incumbent Arthur W. Gerbec and new candidate Randy W. Retzlaff, nephew of retiring Councilman Kenneth A. Retzlaff, are taking on Michael A. Kislack and Karen McKernan, who are running mates of Larson.
Cliffe has called all three tools of former Supervisor Timothy E. Demler, while Larson, Kislack and McKernan have denied Cliffe’s accusation that they will create a town job for Demler if they win office.
On the Democratic side, Kislack and McKernan face Shirley J. Joy, the town Democratic chairwoman, and Judy A. Blake, her running mate.
Kislack and McKernan, who are both Republicans, have been endorsed by county Democratic Chairman Nicholas J. Forster.
Republicans and Democrats in Lewiston each will pick a candidate to run for supervisor in November.
In the Republican primary, Ernest C. Palmer challenges incumbent Steven L. Reiter, while in the Democratic primary, Dennis J. Brochey Sr. goes against Michael A. Johnson.
Reiter, who underwent heart bypass surgery earlier this year and has been under continuing investigation by the FBI, said a few weeks ago that he was “having second thoughts,” and wondered whether he should “gracefully bow out” of the race.
Palmer, a current member of the Town Board, has received the GOP endorsement.
On the Democratic side, Brochey recently retired from running his own auto shop and is finishing up his first year as Lewiston village trustee.
Johnson is a former town councilman who has worked the last 3½ years as the town’s finance officer.
In the Falls, three incumbents and a challenger are vying for three spots on the Democratic line on the November ballot for the Council.
Incumbents Samuel F. Fruscione, Kristen M. Grandinetti and Charles A. Walker and newcomer Andrew P. Touma are competing for the chance to face three Republicans in the general election.
Fruscione is a city schoolteacher who has been a Council member since 2006.
Grandinetti is a prekindergarten teacher in the Falls and is looking for her second term as a city lawmaker.
Walker has been on the Council since 1999. He is manager of community outreach at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.
Touma is dean of students at LaSalle Preparatory School.
The three highest vote-getters will face Republicans Robert J. Elder, Vincent M. Sandonato and Russell F. Vesci on Nov. 5.
In the County Legislature, William L. Ross of Wheatfield, the Legislature’s chairman, faces off with Sean M. O’Laughlin in the Republican primary for the 2nd District seat.
Ross, a Conservative, is the longest-serving chairman in county history.
O’Laughlin is purchasing manager for Unifrax, where he has worked for 37 years. He is the nephew of longtime Niagara Falls Mayor Michael C. O’Laughlin.
In the Legislature’s 15th District, there’s a Conservative Party primary between Legislator Michael A. Hill, R-Hartland, and Joshua D. Walker, grandson of party founder Raymond Walker and son of former party Chairman Dean Walker.
Other local races are in North Tonawanda, Somerset, Pendleton, the Town of Lockport, the City of Lockport and Newfane.
To find out your polling place, call the Niagara County Board of Elections at 438-4040 or visit its website at elections.niagara.ny.us. Polls are open from noon to 9 p.m.