By Robert J. McCarthy
Erie County Conservatives are expressing optimism they will preserve their line for Byron W. Brown, their endorsed candidate for mayor of Buffalo, following a serious write-in attempt by Republican Sergio R. Rodriguez.
Chairman Ralph C. Lorigo said late Wednesday that Brown received 66 votes on the Conservative ballot, against only 59 write-ins filed.
"We still have to hold our breath with the absentee ballots," Lorigo said, "but my feeling is most absentees break the way of the ballot."
Rodriguez was attempting to follow in the footsteps of Republican Kevin J. Helfer, who gained the Conservative line via write-in against the endorsed Brown in 2005.
Elections officials say it will be at least a week before results are official.