Niagara County, NY: Running unopposed, in Niagara County

See the “status quo”; see the “status quo”—run [for office].

1) Of the 112 offices up for election in Niagara County, 63 are unopposed in the 2011 General Election. For the voter, this means: In 56% of elections you’ll have no choice.

2) Of the 63 unopposed offices, 59 are endorsed “R,C,I”Republican, Conservative and Independence Parties. That’s a suspect 94% agreement, in a county where each Party professes a unique set of core values.

3) In 6 of 15 (40%) communities ALL candidates are running unopposed: Hartland, Town of Lockport, Porter, Royalton, Somerset, Wilson—and, all are R,C,I endorsed.

To me, it’s probable that heartfelt Conservative and Independence voters—voters that believe in voting their party line—are being (unwittingly) used to support a Republican “status quo”. How else do you explain the fact that these two Minor Parties endorsed the same 59 (unopposed) candidates that the Republicans endorsed?

To be “R,C,I endorsed” is too common, in Niagara County, to be anything but a political fix. To break this (unnatural) alliance—for the sake of (true) representative government—”We the People” need to STOP! (unquestioningly) giving our vote to “The Party”; giving it in stead, per knowledge and conscience, to the most worthy of candidates—regardless of party stripe. And where there is but one (unworthy) candidate, exercise your right to do a “write-in”—even if it’s but a symbolic gesture of protest. With today’s “paper ballot”, write-ins are simple.

Running unopposed is not a crime (in principle), but for 59 candidates to be running “R,C,I unopposed” is! All Parties should be putting forth candidates according to their core values—that the electorate might have choice, at the ballot. Does not “DEMOCRACY” demand this?

What follows is a complete list of unopposed candidates, for the November 2011 General Election. Locate your candidate(s) knowing you may have to do a “write-in”.

County—2 of 4 offices [are unopposed]:

Family Court Judge Kathleen Wojaszek

District Attorney Michael Voilante

Niagara County Legislature—8 of 15 offices:

Dist 1 (Porter) Clyde Burmaster

Dist 2 (Lewiston) William Ross

Dist 6 (N.F.) Dennis Virtuoso

Dist 10 (Wilson/Cambria) David Godfrey

Dist 11 (Pendleton) Anthony Nemi

Dist 12 (Town of Lockport) Rick UpDeGrove

Dist 14 (Newfane) John Syracuse

Dist 15 (Royalton) Michael Hill

Niagara Falls—0 of 2 offices:

City of Lockport—4 of 8 offices:

Treasurer Michael White

Alderman at Large Joseph Kibler

Alderman—Ward 2 Anne McCaffrey

Alderman—Ward 3 Kathryn Fogle

North Tonawanda—0 of 5 offices

Cambria—2 of 4 offices:

Supervisor Wright Ellis

Town Justice Amel Jowdy, Jr

Supt of Highways Jon MacSwan

Hartland—7 of 7 offices:

Supervisor W.Ross Annable

Town Clerk Cynthia Boyler

Town Justice Joanne Sullivan

Councilman (2 seats) Floyd Snyder and Daniel Hill

Supt of Highways Keith Hurtgam

Tax Collector Kathrine Hirner

Lewiston—6 of 7 offices:

Supervisor Steven Reiter

Town Clerk Carol Brandon

Town Justice (2 seats) Hugh Gee, Sr and Thomas Sheeran

Councilman (2 seats Ernest Palmer and Ronald Winkley

Town of Lockport—5 of 5 offices:

Supervisor Marc Smith

Town Justice Leonard Tilney

Councilman (2 seats) Cheryl Antkowiak and Paul Siejak

Supt of Highways David Miller

Newfane—5 of 9 offices:

Supervisor Tim Horanburg

Town Clerk Mildred Kramp

Councilman (2 seats) Marcus Hall and Laura Rutland

Receiver of Taxes Judith Meahl

Pendleton—3 of 6 offices:

Supervisor James Riester

Town Clerk Tim Murphy

Supt of Highways Jeffrey Stowell

Porter—4 of 4 offices:

Town clerk Gail Zachary

Councilman (2 seats) Lawrence White and Jeffrey Baker

Supt of Highways Scott Hillman

Royalton—4 of 4 offices:

Supervisor Jennifer Bieber

Councilman (2 seats) Lee Criswell and Bradley Rehwaldt

Supt of Highways Terry Niemen

Somerset—4 of 4 offices:

Supervisor Daniel Engert

Councilman (2 seats) Randall Wayner and Jeffery Dewart

Tax Collector Ruth Wendler

Wheatfield—2 of 5 offices:

Town Clerk Kathleen Harrington

Supt of Highways Arthur Kroening

Wilson 7 of 7 offices:

Supervisor Joseph Jastrzemski

Town Justice (2 seats) Robert Botzer and Mary Canfield

Councilman (2 seats) James Muscoreil and Thomas Thompson

Supt of Highways Daniel Kerwin

Tax Collector Julia Godfrey

On November 8th, I’d like to encourage you to vote, only, for the best candidate. If an unopposed candidate is not the best, I’d like to encourage you to “write-in” a candidate—it could even be your name. It’s your vote; give it, only, as you would give a precious gift—to one who is worthy.

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