MAYVILLE – Fred Croscut’s 16-year reign in the Chautauqua County Legislature will come to an end Jan. 1, 2014.
David Himelein won the District 18 Republican primary for county legislature Tuesday with an unofficial vote total of 229-198.
Croscut, R-Sherman, and Himelein, R-Findley Lake – both current legislators – were forced into a primary when the current county legislature voted to downsize from 25 members to 19 members.
“I’ve enjoyed my 16 years, and it doesn’t appear like I’ll be running for re-election,” Croscut said Tuesday night. “I wish Dave the best. We had a good race. After 16 years, you win some friends and you get some enemies. I’m very content and happy with what I’ve accomplished. Evidently, there are enough people in the community that didn’t realize what I’ve accomplished. But, I’ve had a good run, so I’m going to enjoy my life and move on.”
Himelein said he was “ecstatic” to have won the race in his district.
“I am very happy that voters elected me as the new legislator for District 18,” Himelein said. “I think they felt that they wanted their legislator and legislators to go in a different direction than what they have in the past, and this was a result of that, that they wanted somebody newer, fresher, younger in the position, and the results are just in, and it looks like they wanted me to do it.”
Himelein said he looks forward to continue working with Croscut through the end of this year.
“There’s no animosity between Fred and I,” he said. “We will continue to work through the rest of the year on items of common interest, and work to benefit our constituents, as well as the ones in the rest of the county.”
In other legislative districts, Susan Baldwin is leading the Democratic line for District 5, with a total of 76 votes. Her opponent, Amy Farnham, has 72 votes. According to Norm Green, Democratic election commissioner for Chautauqua County, 10 of 25 absentee ballots have been returned so far.
“I am just absolutely delighted,” Baldwin said. “You can’t imagine how nervous I’ve been. I am just thrilled.”
In District 7, current Legislator Thomas DeJoe, D-Brocton, will be listed on the Working Families Line, with a total of seven votes. There were also three write-in votes.
Ronald Lemon is in position to be listed on the Republican line for Legislative District 16, thanks to a total of 108 votes. His opponent, Tamera Downey, has 106 votes. Fourteen of 44 absentee ballots have been return in the District 16 race.
“It’s nice that I’m ahead, but it’s not over,” Lemon said. “We’ve still got, according to the Board of Elections, there are 44 absentee ballots out, of which 14 of them have been returned. … So, we’ll just have to wait seven days or so to see how they go, and then celebrate or go from there.”
Lemon has previously served on the legislature, and has worked with Croscut in the past.
“It was an honor to serve with him when he was in,” Lemon said. “He was always helpful to me while I was in (the legislature). I think he has been a positive for the Chautauqua County Legislature as long as he’s been in there. It’s a sad part of politics, but sometimes the people just think it’s time to move on, and I think that’s the case here.”
Additionally, according to the Chautauqua County Primary Election website, which lists unofficial results, many town ballots for November have been set:
Republican town council candidates in the town of Arkwright are Clinton Nagel, with 62 votes and Christopher Cannon with 61 votes, Lawrence Ball had 50, and there were two write-ins. On the Independence line, Nagel and Ball tied with 11 votes apiece. There were two write-ins.
In the town of Gerry Republican highway superintendent race, Brian Anderson won with 136 votes over Mark Risley, who had 118.
For the Republican town clerk line in the town of Mina, Sherrie Tanner won with 133 votes, over Kathy Wolfe, who had a total of 24 votes.
In the highway superintendent race for the Independence line in the town of Portland, Ronald Delcamp won with 14 votes. His opponent, Charles Kelly, had nine.
Republican town justice candidate in the town of Stockton will be Mark Cunningham, with 111 votes. Jeffrey Shevlin Jr. had a total of 26 votes. Michael Myers had 13. Additionally, there was one write-in. Cunningham will also be listed on the Conservative line, with 12 votes. His opponent, Shevlin, had five. Cunningham also is winning the Independence line with seven votes, over Shevlin, who had six. The Independence line will be decided by absentee ballots.
Green said the entire primary election process went smoothly Tuesday. Additionally, he said it was interesting how there were large voter turnout in some areas, and lower turnouts in others.
“There were no problems,” Green said. “It appears at this point in time to be a perfect election.”
Green said all results on the Chautauqua County Board of Elections website are the final machine results. There are still absentee ballots out in several districts.
“There are three races that will go to absentee,” Green said. “Those three races are really the only absentee races. A week from (Tuesday), we’ll start counting.”
Green said the candidates will be invited to see the ballots being counted.
In Cattaraugus County, District Attorney Lori Reiman will again appear on the November ballot representing the Republicans as she defeated challenger Mark Williams, 478-105, on Tuesday night.