Amherst Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein – a Republican who campaigned on his record of cutting taxes and reducing the cost of town government – appeared headed for re-election Tuesday night, and control of the Town Council probably will remain Republican, with 100 percent of the votes cast Tuesday counted. Absentee ballots still need to be tallied, however.
Weinstein, a physician and lawyer, was beating his Democratic challenger, Mark A. Manna, and seemed poised for victory.
In a race that pitted an incumbent who took credit for controlling taxes against an opponent who decried big development in residential neighborhoods, Weinstein declared victory as he held a healthy lead after more than two-thirds of the districts reported.
In the race for two Town Board seats, one Republican and one Democrat appear to be winners.
Republican Steven D. Sanders, 43, an incumbent, was leading with 100 percent of the Tuesday ballots counted, followed by Democrat Ramona D. Popowich, 63, former president of the Williamsville School Board.
Sanders collected 11,718 votes and Popowich 11,385.
Popowich was followed closely by fellow Democrat Patricia S. Dunne, 44, an Erie County probation officer running in her first election, who has 11,239 votes. Republican Howard D. Cadmus, 34, a real estate attorney and small-business owner, tallied 11,237 votes.
The Democrats did appear headed for victory in the race for town justice pitting two attorneys. With more than all of the votes counted, Democrat Kara A. Buscaglia, 35, had a big lead over Republican Barbara S. Nuchereno, 52, a Town Board member whose term is ending this year.
But it was the supervisor’s race between Weinstein and Manna that took center stage in Amherst this election and was arguably one of the premier local races. Weinstein ran on his record of cutting taxes each of the last four years and slashing town spending by an estimated $20 million.
Manna ran a campaign focused on smart growth and used the controversial Hyatt Place Hotel as an example of bad development for Amherst.
Weinstein outspent Manna, but both the Democrats and Republicans agreed that voter turnout would be the key.
The town has about 4,300 more Democrats than Republicans, but it also has 14,000 unaffiliated voters.
John Pobedinsky, 32, a technical writer for a software company voted for Weinstein. “I feel like he’s done a good job so far,” Pobedinsky said. “Financially, the town is in decent shape, and taxes haven’t spiked too much.”