All 17 seats on the Cattaraugus County Legislature are up in the 2019 election.
Republicans currently control 12 of the 17 Legislature seats.
The Cattaraugus County Republican Committee has endorsed candidates for 15 of the 17 seats, including 10 incumbents, while the Democratic Committee has endorsed 13 candidates including four incumbents.
In District 8, Republican Legislator James J. Snyder, the County Legislature chairman, and Democrat John Padlo are term-limited and unable to run for another term in November. Also term-limited is District 3 Republican Donna Vickman of Farmersville, the majority leader.
Republican Legislator Frank Higgins is the only incumbent seeking re-election in District 8. The other Republican candidates endorsed in Olean are Ward 2 Councilman Kelly Andreano and Councilman Brian George of Ward 7.
The three Democratic candidates in District 8 are Ward 5 Councilman John Crawford and former Olean councilmen Adam Jester and Gerard LeFeber.
“I’m very optimistic,” said Cattaraugus County Republican Party Chairman Robert Keis Sr. “We’ve got some real good candidates — incumbents and new faces. Republicans don’t have any candidates in District 5 — the City of Salamanca and towns of Salamanca, Red House, Great Valley and Coldspring. Salamanca Democrats Susan Labuhn, the minority leader and David Koch are the incumbents.”
Keis said, “I don’t think the Legislature has any extraordinary, unusual issues. Things are in pretty good shape. I hope there are no major surprises.”
His Democratic counterpart, Frank Puglisi, said his party has been working on their candidates for the past eight months.
“We’ve got a pretty good slate,” he said. “It’s pretty much firmed up. We’re very pleased with the candidates we have.”
Those candidates are “out pounding the pavement” getting signatures on nominating petitions along with committee members. Those petitions are due April 4, Puglisi said.
Democrats are still looking for candidates in District 4 — the towns of Conewango, Leon, Little Valley, Napoli, Randolph and South Valley, and District 7 — towns of Hinsdale, Humphrey, Ischua, Olean and Portville, Puglisi said.
The Democratic chairman said the party will introduce its candidates at a St. Patrick’s Day Campaign Kick-Off at the John Ash Center in Olean March 17 from 4 to 7 p.m.
A list of endorsed Democrat and Republican candidates by district follows. A D denotes a Democratic candidate and R, Republican. An asterisk (*) denotes an incumbent.
District 1: Towns of Dayton, New Albion, Otto, Perrysburg and Persia.
— Mary Jane Stuhr, D-Perrysburg.
— Constance Johnson, D-Perrysburg.
— *Andrew Burr, R-Gowanda.
— *Richard Klancer, R-Gowanda.
District 2: Ashford, East Otto, Freedom and Yorkshire. Edward Arnold, D-Yorkshire.
— Mike Miles, D-Freedom.
— *Joseph Boberg, R-Delevan.
— *Richard Helmich Jr., R-Delevan.
District 3: Ellicottville, Farmersville, Franklinville, Lyndon, Machias and Mansfield.
— Sharon Mathe, D-Ellicottville.
— Colette Schoening, D-Lyndon.
— *Robert Breton, R-Franklinville.
— Ginger Schroder, R-Farmersville.
District 4: Conewango, Leon, Little Valley, Napoli, Randolph and South Valley.
— *Howard VanRensselaer, R-Randolph.
— *Norman Marsh, R-Little Valley.
District 5: City and town of Salamanca and towns of Coldspring, Great Valley and Red House.
— *Susan Labuhn, D-Salamanca.
— *David Koch, D-Salamanca.
District 6: Towns of Allegany and Carrollton.
— *Barbara J. Hastings, D-Allegany.
— *Vergilio “Dick” Giardini, D-Allegany.
— Robert Parker, R-Allegany.
— Donald Benson, R-Allegany.
District 7: Towns of Hinsdale, Humphrey, Ischua, Olean and Portville.
— *Dan Hale, R-Portville.
— *Joseph Snyder, R-Ischua.
District 8: City of Olean.
— Adam Jester, D-Olean.
— John Crawford, D-Olean.
— Gerard LeFeber, D-Olean.
— *Frank Higgins, R-Olean
— Kelly Andreano, R-Olean
— Brian George, R-Olean.
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)