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Absentees decide Freedom race by 1 vote 

Credit:  By Rick Miller, County Reporter | The Salamanca Press | July 2, 2021 | www.salamancapress.com ~~

LITTLE VALLEY – Geoffrey Milks won the Republican primary for supervisor over Dustin Bliss in the town of Freedom 96-95.

Both men are currently Freedom councilmen, but are on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to the Alle-Catt Wind Farm.

Milks, who is opposed to the Alle-Catt project, trailed Bliss by two votes after Primary Day tallying, 95-93. With three absentee votes for Milks and none for Bliss, Milks eked out a one-vote win. In early voting, Milks received three votes, while Bliss did not get any votes.

Both men will face each other again in November, since Bliss, who has an Alle-Catt lease for wind turbines on his farm, is the endorsed Democratic candidate.

Freedom Supervisor Randy Lester did not seek re-election, but is running for a town council seat in November.

Also in Freedom, Highway Superintendent James Haggerty outpolled challenger Russell Rhoads 134-52 in the town’s Republican primary.

In the town of Farmersville, incumbent Councilwoman Pamela Tilton received a total of 96 votes and Dale Scurr got 99 votes to win the Republican nomination to run for two seats in a four-person primary race. Douglas Thompson had 93 votes and James Karazewski got 89 votes in losing bids. Tilton got one absentee vote, Scurr got two, Thompson got five and Karazewski got four votes.

The City of Olean had both Democratic and Republican primaries in Ward 4. The absentee ballots counted by the Cattaraugus County Board of Elections on Wednesday did not change the Primary Night results.

Sonja McCall won the Democratic primary over Ezera Johnson 57-14. McCall got three absentee votes and Johnson got four. In the Republican primary, Linda Edstrom got 17 votes to five for David Paone. One absentee vote was recorded for Paone and none for Edstrom.

The November election will feature newcomers McCall and Johnson against Edstrom, a former alderman and county legislator. McCall is also running on the Working Families Party line in November and Johnson is running on an independent line. Edstrom has secured the Conservative Party line.

Other town primary results with absentee votes counted, follow:


Keith Butcher, who was appointed highway superintendent last year, outpolled challenger Shawn Lafferty 135-61 after absentees were counted. Butcher got nine absentee votes to four for Lafferty. Butcher was appointed to the post after the resignation of Tim Engels in December 2020. Butcher will also appear on the Conservative line. There is no Democratic candidate.


Supervisor Angie Maqrdino-Miller won the Republican primary for supervisor 177-108 over challenger Mark Smith. Mardino-Miller is also running on the Conservative Party line. There is no Democratic candidate.

Clerk Ruth Bennett outpolled Republican primary challenger Jacqueline MacDonald 201-86. There is no Democratic candidate.

In a three-way Republican primary for two council seats, Donald Bartlett polled 142 votes and Christine Rupp got 205 votes to win the Republican nomination over David Kohler, who got 118 votes. Rupp is also in the Conservative line in the November election.

Highway Superintendent Thomas Chupa defeated challenger Brian Taber, a former highway superintendent,184-103 for the Republican nomination. Chupa is also running on the Conservative line in November.

East Otto

Highway Superintendent Thomas Benz was defeated in the Republican primary by challenger Michael Grey 70-57. Benz is running on the Democratic and Conservative lines and will run against Grey again in November.

Little Valley

Councilman Jerry Titus II was defeated in a three-way primary for the Republican nomination for two seats. Titus got 27 votes after absentees were counted to 57 for Holly Urbanski and 36 for Timothy Zimbardi. Urbanski and Titus are also on the Conservative line in November.

Source:  By Rick Miller, County Reporter | The Salamanca Press | July 2, 2021 | www.salamancapress.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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