Local Elections Surprises

Falk takes Lima Supervisor, Dems sweep in Pittsford

There were some surprises in the contested local elections last week in Lima and in Pittsford, but in Mendon the incumbents were re-elected easily.

In Lima, Mike Falk won in what may be termed a shocking fashion with 870 votes over Colleen Allen, who had 492 votes. Falk, endorsed only by the Conservative Party, beat Allen who was cross-endorsed by both the Republicans and the Democrats. Even Falk admitted he was pleasantly surprised by the margin of victory, thinking that it would be a lot closer.

“I think the single biggest factor is that the overwhelming number of voters wanted change,” Falk said in a phone interview. “I think they were tired of the same direction. I ran my campaign as an outsider and I think people were looking for an outsider, not someone who was a part of longtime government in Lima and someone with new ideas. Economic development in Lima is the highest priority on my list right now and, going forward, I am everyone’s Supervisor and will work with everyone to move forward together.”

Lima Republican incumbents Bruce Mayer (921 votes) and William Carey (920) were both re-elected as were Republican Town Justices Harold Harris (1,072 votes) and Elvira Luhowy (931) and Republican Highway Superintendent Keith Arner (1,056). All were unopposed.

In Mendon, Republican incumbents John Hagreen (1,500 votes) and Cynthia Carroll (1,484 votes) were re-elected over Democrat challengers Erin Kehaley-Corr (1,200 votes) and Terry Daniele (1,181 votes). Republican incumbent Supervisor John Moffitt was re-elected with 2,138 votes as were fellow Republican incumbents, Town Clerk James Merzke (2,174 votes), Town Justice Cara Briggs (2,094 votes) and Town Highway Superintendent William “Bud” Smith (2,130 votes). All four of them were unopposed.

In Pittsford, Democratic challengers Stephanie Townsend (4,541 votes) and Kevin Beckford (4,320 votes) beat Republican incumbents Jared Lusk (3,909 votes) and Mary Gehl Doyle (3,734 votes). Although enrolled Republicans once outnumbered enrolled Democrats in the town by a wide margin, as they did in most of the Monroe County suburban towns, that has changed recently. Pam Cooper-Vince, the Town of Pittsford Democratic Party Chairwoman said that a few months ago, she was informed that Pittsford had “flipped” Democratic with 16 more enrolled Democrats than Republicans.

“I would say that the number of Democrats has increased and we have more Democrats coming to our meetings, probably about double the number since last November,” she said. “So it may be some reaction to what is going on at the national level, but I also give credit to Stephanie and Kevin, who both stepped forward early to become candidates. They both worked very hard and had a lot of volunteers with them, going door-to-door, and some volunteers were willing to host small get-togethers in their homes for neighbors to come and meet Stephanie and Kevin and listen to their ideas. I also credit Howard Maffucci (the winner of the Monroe County 10th District Legislative race to replace Anthony Daniele) whose campaign coordinated quite a lot with Stephanie and Kevin’s campaigns.”

Maffucci defeated Republican Jason Rosenberg by 3,943 to 2,958 in a district that not only covered part of Pittsford but also Brighton and East Rochester.

Pittsford Republican incumbents were re-elected as Supervisor (Bill Smith with 5,713 votes) and Town Justice (John Bernacki Jr. with 5,863).

In other area races, Rush Republican incumbents Cathleen Frank (Supervisor, 896 votes), Gerald Kusse (Town Council, 871 votes) and Rita McCarthy (Town Council, 888 votes) were re-elected as they were unopposed. Wheatland Republican incumbents Linda Dobson (Supervisor, 847 votes), Lisa Wasson (Town Council, 844 votes), Ed Shero (Town Council, 815 votes), Howard Hazelton (Highway Superintendent, 857 votes) and Nicole Bayly-Henshaw (Town Justice, 863 votes) all were unopposed in their re-election bids. Avon Supervisor, Republican David LeFeber, received 1,462 votes as he was unopposed. In the Avon town council race, Republicans Thomas Mairs (an incumbent) and James Harrington beat Democrat Michael Froome as Mairs received 1,191 votes, Harrington 1,002 and Froome 976. Harrington takes over the seat vacated by Republican Jeannie Michalski, who ran and won the Town Justice position with 1,469 votes. In West Bloomfield, Supervisor Todd Campbell won re-election with 436 votes, Town Clerk Mary Grundman won re-election with 486 votes and Town Councilman William Travis won re-election with 428 votes along with newcomers Kevin Carey (Town Council, 448 votes) and Jeffrey Ball (Highway Superintendent, 476 votes). All are Republican and ran unopposed.

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