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Town Board shrinkage in Amherst

By Jay Rey

A few Election Day tidbits out of Amherst:

– The Town Board is downsizing from six to five seats by year’s end, but it’s possible the board could be starting with only four members come the beginning of next year.

For example, if Mark Manna – who is half way through his term as Amherst councilmember – beats Barry Weinstein in the race for supervisor, Manna would vacate his councilmember seat.

The supervisor and three other councilmembers would then appoint the fifth person to fill that open seat.

But what if they board is split – two Democrats and two Republicans – and can’t settle on an appointment?

Then it’s possible that seat could stay vacant until voters choose a candidate in next year’s election.

– Just for the record, here’s a breakdown of registered voters in Amherst: 31,002 Democrats; 26,647 Republicans; 1,271 Conservatives; 219 registered in the Working Families Party; 3,783 registered with the Independence Party; 184 registered with the Green Party; 44 registered under other parties; and 14,156 unaffiliated voters, or blanks.

That’s a total of 77,306.

– Here’s what Democratic Elections Commissioner Dennis E. Ward had to say about female candidates running in Amherst.

“Honestly, I always think women run strong in Amherst,” Ward said. “I always say, in Amherst, the female candidate is worth two to three more points just because women tend to poll better.”

It’s something to watch tonight.

Democrats are running two female candidates, Ramona Popowich and Patricia Dunne, for the two available councilmember seats.


Amherst | Barry Weinstein
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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

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Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

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