BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — While it may be more of a quiet year this Election Day, there are still a handful of noteworthy races around Western New York that will fill political offices.
With polls closing at 9 p.m., you can read info on some of the top races and find results as they come in below. For a complete list of election results, click or tap here.
Erie County Executive
Mark Poloncarz won re-election, with the Associated Press calling the race around 10:30 p.m.
The biggest race on the ballot this year is for the position of Erie County executive, with incumbent Mark Poloncarz (D) and challenger Chrissy Casilio (R) the two major players vying for the office.
If Poloncarz is re-elected, it would be his fourth term as county executive, and the Democrat has emphasized his desire to continue the work he started in Erie County. Should he be re-elected, Poloncarz confirmed that he will not seek a fifth term in 2027.
Casilio is a first-time candidate for public office. She is a small business owner and has criticized Poloncarz on various issues, such as his response to the Christmas blizzard, throughout her campaign, emphasizing the need for change and a different perspective in the county.
Niagara Falls Mayor
Robert Restaino declared victory in the race for City of Niagara Falls mayor, appearing to defeat challengers Carlton Cain (R) and Demetrius Nix (I).
Democrat Robert Restaino is seeking re-election and his second term as Niagara Falls mayor against Republican challenger Carlton Cain.
Restaino has campaigned prominently on continuing his efforts to repair Niagara Falls’ financial issues should he win re-election.
Cain, the former Niagara Falls deputy police chief from 2013-2019, has leaned on his law enforcement experience during his campaign, saying he is well-equipped to fix crime rates in the city.
Buffalo Common Council seats
Zeneta Everhart and Leah Halton-Pope both won races, giving the Common Council its first women members since 2014.
Buffalo Common Council seats in the Ellicott, Lovejoy, Masten and University Districts are all being contested on Tuesday.
Bryan Bollman’s Lovejoy District seat is the only seat being challenged by a major party candidate, going up against Republican challenger David McElroy. In Masten, Zeneta Everhart, the mother of a Tops mass shooting survivor, is running for a seat being left vacant by Ulysees Wingo, who is not seeking re-election.
In the Ellicott District, the major party candidate is Democrat Leah Halton-Pope, who is running to fill the seat of council president Darius Pridgen, who is also not seeking re-election.
Democrat Brian Nowak is declaring victory with the race separated by just 36 votes. It could be headed for a recount.
Democrat Brian Nowak and Republican Michael Jasinski, both current town councilmen, are facing off in an acrimonious battle to replace outgoing Democrat Diane Benczkowski, who is stepping down after holding the seat since 2016.
Jasinski has made the controversy over the town’s handling of the influx of asylum seekers who were relocated to Cheektowaga hotels over the summer a central issue of his campaign. He is in favor of putting the town in a state of emergency to prevent migrants from coming to Cheektowaga and claims Nowak wants to make Cheektowaga a “sanctuary town,” referring to municipalities who limit cooperation with the federal government in enforcing immigration law – an assertion Nowak says is a lie.
Feeding the rancor between the two candidates was Jasinski and Benczkowski’s co-sponsoring of a resolution to censure Nowak, accusing him of bribing another town official. The resolution failed to pass in September and the Erie County DA cleared Nowak of criminal wrongdoing.
Grand Island town supervisor
Peter Marston Jr. has unofficially defeated Michael Madigan to win the seat of Grand Island town supervisor.
A battle between two Republican Town Board members headlines the race for Grand Island town supervisor between Peter Marston Jr. and Michael Madigan.
The race for the top office on Grand Island became more intriguing when Marston, the Republican Party-endorsed candidate, lost in the June primary to Madigan. Despite the loss, Marston opted to run on the Conservative line in Tuesday’s general election.
As of Wednesday morning, it appears a majority voted “Yes” for both proposal No. 1 relating to small city school districts and proposal No. 2 relating to the construction of sewage facilities.
There are two New York State proposals on the ballot this year.
If a majority votes “Yes” for both proposals, No. 1 would eliminate the constitutional debt limit placed on small city school districts. Proposal No. 2 would extend for 10 more years the authority of counties, cities, towns, and villages to exclude from their constitutional debt limits any debt incurred for the construction of sewage facilities.
To learn more about the specifics of each proposal, click or tap here.