Optical scan local election wrap up for 2009


Just my thoughts on some of the local races I paid close attention to and other stuff…


Working on the campaign for Kevin Hardwick, I decided to keep my comments about the race to nothing more than rooting for the good doctor prior to yesterday’s election.

Dr. Hardwick had some name recognition heading into the race…that is an obstacle he didn’t have to overcome like other challengers generally do.  With that obstacle out of the way, the key to these Erie County legislator races is getting out going door to door and meeting people in the distict.  Kevin Hardwick did this tirelessly.

Heading into the last few weeks of the election, I personally thought this thing was going to be a close one.

THEN the story hit about Michele Iannello’s run in with the Working Families Party and subsequent pulling of endorsements by the Buffalo Teachers Federation and the United Auto Wokers unions because of allegations of racism on Iannello’s part.  As these events unfolded, I was surprised by her tacit response.  All we got from her was that the situation was a “misunderstanding.”  That type of response generally creates more questions than answers.  She should have handled it differently.

Though we will probably never see one, a poll would be interesting to determine how this ultimately affected the outcome of the race.

I started to get the feeling that she was in trouble when I saw this anonymous website appear a few days before the election complete with Google AdWords placement to have the site pop up in search results for Kevin Hardwick as a sponsored link.

http://taxhikinghardwick.com (complete with mistakes and inaccuracies)

This type of last minute tactic smacks of desperation.  Iannello’s camp must have done some late polling and determined she was in trouble.  Judging by the amount Hardwick won the race by, she was.


Sheriff Howard’s problems should have been easy pickens for an opponent to exploit and run away with the race.  Enter John Glascott…

The sheriff’s race attracts challengers that really don’t have a political background to manuver in local political realm.  What they need is a good and experienced campaign manager to help lead the way.  It looks like Glascott didn’t have that.  Consider his…I don’t know how 0r why he was selected to run or who was running his campaign.  But besides getting support from Erie County Democratic Committee, something stuck out to me in this campaign…where was the heavy hitter local Dem support for Glascott?  You never saw or heard ringing high profile endorsements for him from people like Byron Brown, Dems in the Erie County Legislature, Mark Poloncarz, etc…

It seems the race ended up being one with Glascott running on the “I’m not Sheriff Howard” platform only and it didn’t work.

If someone is going to mount a serious challenge to Howard in four years, it is going to have to be a more dynamic candidate who runs a more dynamic campaign.


Living in the district where this race took place, Shelly Schratz was everywhere…on signs, in the mail, in the Bee, etc., while Tom Loughran really wasn’t anywhere.

The race was close, but I just think Schratz rubs people the wrong way.  She has also turned into the “I will run for a different position each year” person.

Loughran ran a quiet campaign, is a nice guy, doesn’t make a lot of noise in the legislature and does a good job.  People respect all of that.


Lynne Dixon like Kevin Hardwick had name recognition in the bag when she decided to run against Bob Reynolds for Erie County Legislator.  Also like Hardwick, she knew what it was going to take to win the race and she made the hard rounds in her district.

Reynolds was well liked in the district, but you have to wonder if he was simply outworked by Dixon.


I didn’t know what to expect out of this race.

Now What

Chris Collins didn’t get all the wins he wanted, but he did get some friends on the county legislature.  It is my hope that we see less politics and fighting between the county executive and lawmakers.  Honestly, I don’t know if this will happen.  The county executive race is two years away and you know the Dems have their eyes on that prize.  Can the Dems in the legislature actually put aside the donkey cards and work with the Collins and his cadre of incoming legislatures?  We will see.

I really do like one of Kevin Hardwick’s ideas.  He wants to eliminate the positions of minority and majority leaders in the legislature.

From the Doctor:

I propose that the positions of Majority and Minority Leaders be eliminated. Rather than encouraging our legislators to divide into two camps to play the Democrat vs. Republican game, we must demand that they band together for the sake of the entire community. As an added benefit, this would save the county the cost of their stipends ($5,000 each).

It could create an environment where legislators legislate based on the merit of the matters before them as opposed to playing the political game.

Speaking of playing the political game…with Comptroller Mark Poloncarz being on the Dem short list of candidates, I don’t know if he can keep politics out of his dealings with Collins or vice versa.

Optical Scanners

There are some aspects of the new method of voting here that need to be tweaked, but all in all, I like.  I have to admit though that it was weird voting without the big ugly machines around.

Amherst Town Justice

Depending on my mood and who is running, I will write myself in as a candidate.  The process is much easier now on the new ballots so I couldn’t resist.

I regret to tell you that I lost my bid becoming the next Amherst Town Justice…there was only one candidate running on all the lines and wanted to give the town another option.

One Last Thought

Fusion voting must go…I hate seeing people on multiple lines…it just isn’t right and makes most third parties a joke in this state.

Enough said…

4 thoughts on “Optical scan local election wrap up for 2009

  1. Nice analysis of the races. I didn’t have a problem with the optical scanners except I forgot to vote on the propositions on the back.

  2. The Michelle Iannello situation just struck me as weird. Did she ever give a straight answer?

  3. Your analysis of my race, Chris, is excellent with one notable exception. You fail to mention that I had the best website of any local candidate this election cycle. Fortunately for me, you did not fail in your efforts to provide me with the best website of any local candidate in this election cycle. For that, I will be forever grateful. I’m also thankful for your friendship.

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