By Jann Wiswall
Elections on a Thursday? Yes. This year, because the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur falls on the second Tuesday of September, primary election day was rescheduled in Cattaraugus County for Thursday, September 10.
Voters who are registered with the Democratic or Republican political parties, ONLY, may participate in this year’s primary elections.
Registered Democrats throughout the county are encouraged to participate in the primary election for County Clerk. Alan Bernstein and Brittany N. Melfi, both of Olean, are running for the seat.
Please remember that the county has reduced the number of its legislative districts from 21 to 17. The change goes into effect on January 1, 2016. As a result, those voting in the primary and the general election in November will be voting for candidates in their NEW legislative districts.
Registered Republicans in new Legislative District 1, which includes the towns of Dayton, New Albion, Otto, Perrysburg and Persia, will be asked to vote for two of the following candidates: Patrick J. Murphy of the Village of Cattaraugus, Paula J. Stockman of the Village of South Dayton and Richard L. Klancer of the Village of Gowanda.
Registered Democrats in new Legislative District 5, which includes the towns of Coldspring, portions of Great Valley, Red House, all five wards of the City of Salamanca and the Town of Salamanca, will vote for two of the following candidates all from Salamanca: Carmen A. Vecchiarella, David M. Koch and Susan Labuhn.
On the local level, the City of Olean and the towns of Allegany, Humphrey, Leon, Machias, New Albion, Perrysburg, Randolph and Yorkshire all are holding primaries. The winners of their primaries will run as their party’s representatives during the general election in November.
In the City of Olean, registered Republicans may choose between Kelly J. Andreano and Kevin D. Bartholomew for Alderman.
Town of Allegany Republicans may vote for two of three candidates for Councilman: John T. Williams, David J. Koebelin and Kathleen M. Martin.
Registered Democrats in the Town of Humphrey have the “Opportunity to Ballot,” or write-in, their choice of Democratic candidates for Supervisor, two Councilmembers and a candidate for the vacant, two-year post of Highway Superintendent.
Town of Leon Republicans may choose between Joel A. Fiebelkorn and Michael E. Becker for the post of Highway Superintendent.
Town of Machias Republicans may vote for Brenda D. Andrews or Stephen J. Cornwall for Supervisor.
In New Albion, the Republican primary will elect either Michael R. Weishan or Loyd J. Chilson for candidate for Supervisor and David B. Rupp or George E. Borrowdale for candidate for Highway Superintendent.
The Town of Perrysburg is holding a Republican primary for Supervisor – Cindy L. Lauer vs. Dennis C. Stopen – and for two councilmembers from a slate of three: Dennis K. Parker, Mary Jane Stuhr and Mary L. Denea.
Democrats in the Town of Randolph will choose Gary E. Sickles, Jr. or Robert M. Finch as their candidate for Highway Superintendent.
And, in the Town of Yorkshire, there will be both a Democratic and Republican primary.
Democrats may vote for their choice to fill the vacant Town Clerk position: Merl F. “Fred” Clark and Brenda L. Dominessy are running.
The Republican primary there will choose two Town Justice candidates. Heather A. Tomes, Lynn R. Guertin and Matthew A. Hopkins are running for the seat. Republicans also will choose between Edward R. Shafer, Jr. and Christopher B. Lexer for Highway Superintendent.